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Hilmar avoids fifth game with Ripon

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Hilmar avoids fifth game with Ripon

Ripon’s Lizzy Nizzoli makes a play at the net for the Indians in their Trans Valley League loss to visiting Hilmar Thursday.


POSTED October 5, 2012 1:19 a.m.

RIPON – By the time Emily Baptista’s second consecutive service ace landed, Ripon’s hopes to upset the visiting Hilmar Yellowjackets were replaced by the realities of a blown opportunity.

The Indians would fall in four to Hilmar, losing 12-25, 25-17, 21-25 and 22-25 in a match that revealed how close Ripon is to being one of the Trans Valley League’s top clubs. Ripon showed glimpses, but down the stretch, in each game, especially the fourth, Hilmar simply knew how to win.

“Honestly, I thought we had it,” Ripon head coach Adrienne Uecker of the Game 4 loss. “We had quite the lead and I was pretty confident, especially when we had the six or seven point lead at one point.

“We made some errors, but I still felt like we were in it.”

After burying the Indians in the first game, Hilmar showed its vulnerability in a convincing loss during the second game but responded. After taking the third game to take the 2-1 lead, Hilmar showed its grit, responding from a 15-9 deficit with a 10-1 run and sapping Ripon of its shot at handing Hilmar its second TVL loss.

“I definitely knew that run was in our girls,” Hilmar head coach Patti Harris said. “These girls don’t give up, and even when they’re down they just keep pushing and pushing until it catches on.”

Ripon was unable to keep any of the momentum acquired after the one-sided game one loss. After taking the second game, Ripon held leads in both of Hilmar’s final two wins, but simply could not escape unforced errors or untimely bad bounces.

“We played well and we fought hard,” Ripon’s Paige Burrell said. “But, I don’t know exactly how to explain it; it’s been a tough week and we played as hard as we could we just came up short.”

Burrell finished with 28 digs and three aces, while Chelsea Ioppini had a blowout game with nine kills from the middle. Jourdan Richter dished out 10 assists and three aces and Lizzy Nizzoli had a dozen digs and 15 assists.

The grind won’t get any easier for the Indians as they continue league play with a visit from the undefeated Escalon Cougars Thursday.

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