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Blume, Sonora outgun game Timberwolves

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Blume, Sonora outgun game Timberwolves

Alysia Atkins gets a spike off over the blocks of Sonora's Jenna Milnik (17) and Sarah Blume.


POSTED September 22, 2009 3:45 a.m.

Sierra sent the message early on when middle blocker Jaslynn Liotard stuffed Sonora’s star hitter, Hannah Blume, to close the host Timberwolves in 5-8 Monday.

Game on.

Sierra went on to play its best stretch of volleyball of the season to take an 18-14 lead, matching the Valley Oak League’s defending co-champions hit for hit, block for block and dig for dig during some heart-stopping rallies.

But Blume and the rest of Sonora’s towering and overpowering front line prevailed 25-20 in the first game and took two out of the next three (25-16, 24-26, 25-11).

Sonora (4-0, 18-6 overall), loaded with year-round club players, figured to be the favorite, but Sierra (1-1, 6-2) proved not to be intimidated.

“I told the girls they’d be able to play with Sonora, and they’re a good team,” Sierra coach Tevani Liotard said. “It goes to show that we can play.

“We know they’re the better team, but we know we can win against them. We don’t have their guns, but what we’re really missing is their confidence. Hopefully that will come some point soon.”

Blume thumped her Wildcats back into the first game, tying it at 18 and slamming home three more of her match-high 22 kills to help seal it.

Blume was also unstoppable from the service line. She began a torrid serving streak with her team up 7-6 in the final game, and she served in nine straight points, four of them aces, to give Sonora the momentum for good.

“She’s a really good hitter and all-around player,” Sierra outside hitter Alysia Atkins said. “She did really well tonight, but we need to come out with a better effort next time.”

Atkins buoyed Sierra in the early going and charged the Timberwolves to victory in the third game when she sent home back-to-back kills to clinch it. She finished with 13 kills.

“What I need to do is get the girls to kill the ball,” Liotard said. “We just kind of placed it. “Alysia had 13 kills and everybody else had one. I need more kills than that. She realized that there were three gaps for her to hit to and she was doing that.”

Coach Liotard was also pleased with how her back row covered Sonora’s attack, though it had some rough spots on service receives. Chelsea Bereta and Nicole Sylvester each had 10 digs, while Michelle Arroyo added seven. Setter Modesty Rodriguez finished with 11 assists.

Manteca 3, Weston Ranch 0
At Weston Ranch, Cynthia Perez led a balanced attack for Manteca (1-1, 8-6) with four kills. The Buffaloes cruised to a 25-11, 25-14, 25-22 victory. Davina Bennett had 18 assists.

“We really mixed it up well today,” Manteca coach Tim Horning said. “We had 21 kills spread out among different players, which is good to see.”

DeArbia Gardner paced Weston Ranch (0-3, 0-8) with six kills and three aces. Andrea Vega churned out 19 digs, Sidney Carter three blocks and Anais Castillo seven assists.

Oakdale 3, East Union 0
At Dalben Center, Oakdale’s Powell sisters led a one-sided sweep (25-4, 25-21, 25-13). Jaci Powell pounded out 18 kills, Julie had 16 digs and three aces and Domi added a pair of blocks.

Amber Abidi recorded three kills for the Lancers (1-2), and Brittany LaMar turned in three blocks.

Central Valley 3, Lathrop 0
In Lathrop, the host Spartans struggled to get it going in a three-game loss (18-25, 21-25, 16-25).

Crystal Ruiz led the front line with six kills and four blocks. Beverly Bansil added three kills to go with three assists and two aces; and Janel Butler contributed 11 assists.

“We had a pretty off night,” Lathrop coach Angela Cuellar said. “I don’t think we did what we could have done, but hopefully we can move on from this and continue to get better.”

To contact Jonamar Jacinto, e-mail, or call (209) 249-3538.

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