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Escalon halts Ripon’s TVL win streak at 33

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Escalon halts Ripon’s TVL win streak at 33

Ripon High's Ashley Robinson sends a spike past the block of Escalon standout Kaitlyn Brayton during the Indians' four-game loss on the road Thursday.


POSTED October 16, 2009 2:24 a.m.
ESCALON — The streak is over.

Escalon stunned defending Trans Valley League champion Ripon in four games (25-17, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21) Thursday, halting the Indians’ regular-season win streak at 33.

But the streak was an afterthought for Ripon coach Larry Keethe. Keethe is more concerned about his team’s seeding in the midseason Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff power ratings, which will be released early next week.

Ripon (8-1, 26-8 overall) also missed out on a chance to put itself in the driver’s seat to earn its fourth straight conference title and fifth in six years. Instead of extending its first-place lead to two matches, the Indians are now tied with Escalon (8-1, 19-2) at the top with one more round of league play remaining.

Escalon is responsible for Ripon’s last league loss — a five-game thriller on Oct. 1, 2007. The rubber match is scheduled for Nov. 3 at Ripon high.

“We could have clinched it here, but wow it’s going to be a dogfight,” Keethe said.

The Indians didn’t seem to have the same emotional spark they played with when they edged Escalon in five games on Oct. 29. Sonoma State commit Ashley Robinson gave her team a boost in the fourth game, as she smacked three of her team-high 15 kills during one stretch to give Ripon a 13-12 lead.

Escalon took the lead for good at 17-16 when Casey Schmidig ended a wild rally with a kill.

“We don’t have school this week, and I don’t think it’s an excuse but a lot of us are just being lazy,” Robinson said. “We weren’t trying our hardest in practice and it showed tonight.”

Kelsey Johnson had 39 assists for the Indians, Cheyann DePrue picked up seven digs and Lauren Fedderson added four blocks.

As lackluster as Ripon’s effort was, both Keethe and Robinson gave a nod to Escalon’s excellent play and unwavering energy. Both said that the difference was passing.

“We couldn’t pass and dig,” Keethe said. “When you can’t do that, you can’t run an offense. We’re usually pretty good passers.”

Outside hitter Kaitlyn Brayton pounded out 23 kills to pace the Cougars. Setter Katie Aprile finished with 41 assists and two aces, and libero Lindsey Anderson recorded 34 digs.

“Katie Aprile probably played the best match of her life, and their libero was nails on serve receive,” Keethe said. “Their big player is Kaitlyn, but their whole team played really well.”

Ripon Christian 3, Modesto Christian 0
In Ripon, the Knights (5-4) picked up a big win, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20.

Kelsey Tillema anchored Ripon Christian with nine kills and five blocks. Michelle Terpstra handed out 19 assists, Brittany Petlansky posted 11 digs and Emily Lahey turned in three aces.
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