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Sheltons again garner top honors in Southern League

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Ripon Christian’s Andie Shelton sets the ball during the Knights’ Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship match with Bear River at UC Davis.

JONAMAR JACINTO/Bulletin File Photo

POSTED November 28, 2012 12:24 a.m.

Like father, like daughter.

Ripon Christian volleyball standout Andie Shelton and her dad Tiger are Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year for a second straight season in the Southern League. They led the Knights to a third consecutive undefeated run through the conference schedule.

In the Trans-Valley League, Lizzy Nizzoli was the lone first-team selection for Ripon High, which placed third in and reached the quarterfinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

It was another highlight-filled season for RC’s Knights, who finished 28-8 overall and were finalists in their first appearance at the Division IV level of the SJS playoffs.  Going into the year it had claimed five successive titles and 15 overall in Division V.

Ripon Christian was better than expected after losing its two best front-row players — 6-foot twins Mikaela and Morgan Alger — graduation. That’s a credit to the coaching staff and the players.

Andie Shelton, a talented junior setter lauded as one of the best in the nation, was the anchor with her all-around ability. Outside hitter Kristy Van Diver was instrumental for RC during her breakout campaign and was one of three Knights to get All-Southern League first-team recognition. Middle blocker Stephanie Van de Pol and Brittany Petlansky also made the first team. Libero Kaylie Colyn and middle Cassidy De Rousse earned honorable mention.

Ripon (7-5, 16-13) was also led by a top setter in Nizzoli, who, like Shelton, rarely came off the court because of her multiple skills.

The Indians upset fifth-seeded Summerville in the postseason opener, setting up a first-ever playoff meeting with No. 4 Ripon Christian.

TVL champion Escalon had five all-league selections, with Nicole Bianchi getting the nod for MVP.

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