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Ripon, RC earn top seeds for section playoffs

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Ripon, RC earn top seeds for section playoffs

The Ripon Indians will open the 2010 SJS Division-IV tournament as the No. 1 seed Tuesday when postseason volleyball action gets underway.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED November 5, 2010 3:05 a.m.
Both Ripon and Ripon Christian will open the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs as their respective division’s No. 1 seeds.
They join Division III East Union and No. 16 seed Sierra in the volleyball postseason, which begins Tuesday.

Ripon (30-6) was rated as the top-team of the Division-IV field and will play host to the third-place team of the Mountain Valley League, Venture Academy. The Mustangs (Stockton) come into the postseason having loss three consecutive matches, giving the Indians the task of making sure they don’t turn it around.

Ripon Christian (24-7) comes into this year’s tournament with a section-best 13 championship banners. The Division-V No. 1 seed will open with Sacramento Metro League’s third-place team, Sacramento Country Day. Country Day is the No. 8 seed, as the section added a Division-VI tournament, made up of eight schools as well.

Both East Union (13-8) and Sierra (15-8) will enter the Division-III tournament as the No. 12 and No. 16 seed, respectively. Sierra earned its berth in a Valley Oak League sweep of the Lancers in the regular season final. Now the Timberwolves will meet up with No. 1 seed Vanden (Fairfield) in the program’s seventh-consecutive playoff appearance.

“I didn’t know that the program had made it six straight years,” Sierra head coach Trinity Johnson said. “But there is always pressure to make it far as possible. For me, it was more pressure in trying to fill (former coach Tevani) Liotard’s shoes.

“At the beginning of the season my expectations were high for these girls, and they’ve met my expectations.”

East Union will kick off tournament action against No. 5 seed Union Mine. The Diamondbacks (24-2-1) finished with an 11-1 record in Sierra Valley League. Union Mine hadn’t lost in 18-straight matches until dropping the season finale against Vista del Lago.

The Lancers seemingly back into the tournament, having dropped three of their final four VOL matches. Injuries have reared their ugly head on the close of East Union’s season, forcing the club to get healthy in a hurry if they plan to pull off the 12-seed upset.

Ripon found little challenge in their 3-0 opening round win a year ago over Marysville, and should be able to handle business against a 6-4 Venture Academy. The Indians’ ride to the section title has always encountered the troublesome Christian Brothers squad, but that won’t be the case as the defending Division-IV champions are currently the No. 9 seed in the Division-III tournament.

Ripon dropped four consecutive section finals to the Falcons, giving the club its first undeniable claim as the tournament’s best team. All first-round action is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., with Sierra and East Union on the road, and both Ripon clubs hosting on their home court.

“We’ll be ready,” Ripon head coach Larry Keethe said. “The girls are really relaxed right now, and I thinking it is because of how confident they are.

“I expect as we continue on, the intensity will pick up.”
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