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Knights one win from fourth-straight SJS title

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Knights one win from fourth-straight SJS title

Michelle Terpstra slams home one of her game-high 16 kills during the Knights' semifinal win over Vacaville Christian Thursday.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED November 12, 2010 2:50 a.m.
RIPON — Vacaville Christian came into its semifinal Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V match with Ripon Christian knowing it would have to stop senior Michelle Terpstra, and knowing they would have to didn’t cut it in the Knights’ 25-16, 25-13, 25-16 sweep of the Falcons Thursday.

The Knights (29-7) came out with legitimate playoff intensity, building a blistering quick 4-1 lead and igniting the home crowd. The Falcons (20-9) would fight back into the match, pulling it to within one at 6-5, but eventually fell to the side when Ripon Christian pulled away for good with a 20-9 lead.

“Every once in awhile they listen to the old guy, and I told them that this team was strong,” Ripon Christian head coach Tiger Shelton said. “I said you guys have to come out on them. This is our place, so let’s make sure we take them down at our place.

“This group has played a lot of good teams, so big girls don’t scare them.”

Ripon Christian got a superb effort from Terpstra, who did a little bit of everything to get the Knights back to the title game. Terpstra got her night going in the first game, leading the Knights as they pulled away from the Falcons with eight consecutive service points. Even when Terpstra was not acing Vacaville Christian, the velocity of her serves proved too hot to handle.

In each game of Ripon Christian’s sweep, Terpstra was all over the court, setting to her left, to her right, to hitters behind her and all other scenarios. As talented and tall as the Falcons’ middle blockers were, Terpstra’s athleticism continually gave the Falcons’ net presence fits.

“Ripon Christian was a real tough school, and their setter does a really good job at mixing it up to where we don’t know where they’re going,” Vacaville Christian head coach Melissa Mulqueen said. “And that is something that we haven’t seen this year. We have really big blockers and they can put up a big wall, but when you have a tough setter like that and the blockers don’t know where she’s setting it makes it tougher to play defense.”

Terpstra led the Knights with 15 kills and also dished out 16 assists and a pair of aces. Freshman Andie Shelton also handed out 16 assits in the win, while teammate Morgan Alger paced the club with six kills and Brittany Petlansky pulled out 11 digs.

Trailing two games to none, the two clubs were knotted in the final game 6-6 when the Knights started to pull away again. Shelton was able to get going at the net, banging home a pair of kills to usher the Ripon Christian faithful back into the equation. When the Knights separated themselves at 12-8, Vacaville Christian could only watch as its season came to an end.

“We have been known all year for kind of not being awake for that first game,” Mulqueen said. “Today, I did think that they came out and gave it their all, but Ripon Christian is just a good team.

“It was just that string of points that we gave up that can either make you or break you.”

Ripon Christian now can set its sight on the programs’ section-leading 14th section title. The Knights will have to stop Bradshaw Christian, which upset No. 3 seed Turlock Christian in four.

 “I think we played awesome, we came out really fired up tonight and it showed,” Terpstra said. “Our motivation tonight was that fourth straight section title.

“They were a good team, but I think our conditioning and our endurance through the game is really what helped us pull it out.”

The two programs will meet up Thursday at UC Davis. The Division-V championship gets underway at 4 p.m.
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