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Title is Knights’ fourth straight, 14th overall section championship

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Title is Knights’ fourth straight, 14th overall section championship

Players and coaches from Ripon Christian High's volleyball team put up four fingers, signifying four Sac-Joaquin Section Division V titles in as many years, after beating Bradshaw Christian in four...

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED November 19, 2010 3:01 a.m.

DAVIS — They proudly held up four fingers.

For members of the Ripon Christian High varsity volleyball squad, this was symbolic of the number of CIF Sac-Joaquin Section titles won in as many years.

The Knights, in the process, also captured their 14th Division V section crown.

RC (27-7) was the top-seeded team but had to earn this one against Bradshaw Christian, needing four games in the best-of-five title match played Thursday at UC Davis.

The Knights won, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22.

“We had our ups and downs,” RC coach Tiger Shelton said. “We didn’t play our best.”

Some of that had to do with the play of the No. 7 seeded Pride (21-14), in particular, their one-two punch of senior outside hitter Patricia Orozco and middle blocker Janai Johnson.

Shelton had firsthand knowledge of both players.

“They’re on my club (volleyball) team,” he said.

RC was able to neutralize the attack by relying on freshman setter Andie Shelton and senior middle blocker Emily Leahy.

“We were ready for them,” Leahy said.

The Knights led from start to finish in the first game, with Bradshaw Christian coming to within two, 17-15, after Orozco’s block.

RC closed out on an 8-3 run thanks to a pair of kills by Andie Shelton and another by Micheala Manus.

In the second game, the Knights wavered, committing eight hitting errors and six service errors. Johnson paced the attack for the Pride with three kills including two of the extremely hard-hitting variety.

Bradshaw Christian rode the momentum into the crucial third game by staking out to an early lead.

Still, Tiger Shelton didn’t press the panic button.

“These games go in waves,” he explained. “We figured that if we worked hard we could catch that next wave.”

His plan went almost accordingly.

After tying the game at 11-11, the Knights caught that next wave consisting of a service ace by Andie Shelton, a block by Cassidy De Rousse, and kills by Mikeala Alger and Michelle Terpstra, respectively.

RC made it 19-13 on Morgan Alger’s spike.

The Pride rallied back behind the play of Orozco and Chloe Hudson.

The Knights then took advantage of Bradshaw Christian miscues. Included was a passing error and an improper setting infraction that led to the game point.

RC jumped out to 7-0 advantage in the fourth game, holding off a late charge by the Pride.

Sophomore Kaylie Colyn and freshman Teagan Manus also contributed with key serves down the stretch.

“For us to win it we needed everyone to contribute,” coach Shelton said.

Terpstra contributed with 14 kills and 19 assists; Shelton came through with two aces, four blocks, 15 assists, and 10 kills; De Rousse had four blocks; Mikeala Alger chipped in with nine kills; Britttany Petlansky tallied 11 digs; and Colyn delivered three aces.

“This was still an achievement that was a goal for the season,” said Leahy. “Now we want to take up to the next level.”

The next level starts next week with RC hosting a first-round CIF Northern California Regional Championships match.

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