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Ripon fourth in D-IV playoff power ratings

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POSTED October 17, 2009 2:08 a.m.
Ripon’s four-game loss to Escalon Thursday proved to have big playoff ramifications.

“This will likely drop us from a top-two (seed) to fourth,” Ripon coach Larry Keethe said after Thursday’s contest.

His hunch was right.

The Sac-Joaquin Section released its midseason postseason power ratings Friday, revealing that Escalon is currently ranked third in Division IV with Ripon one spot behind the Cougars, though they have mirroring 1.33497 seeding ratings.

The power ratings are used to seed brackets and determine playoff qualifiers. The top 16 in each of the five divisions advance.

Escalon ended Ripon’s Trans Valley League winning streak at 33 Thursday (25-17, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21) to force a two-way tie at the top of the standings with five matches left in the regular season.

They will meet for the rubber match, which should decide the championship, on Oct. 29 at Ripon High, and the winner will likely earn no lower than a third seed.

The drop in seed is significant for the Indians, because if they are to stay at No. 4 come the postseason, they would end up facing Sacramento-powerhouse Christian Brothers in the semifinals.

Christian Brothers won its previous seven matches against Ripon since 2006 — three of them in the section championship round at UC Davis, and the seventh in the NorCal finals last year.

Ripon Christian appears to be solidly entrenched for a postseason berth at No. 11 in Division V, where it is the two-time defending playoff champion.

Three Valley Oak League teams are seeded in the top 16, with two on the bubble.

Sierra leads the four Manteca Unified schools in Division III at No. 15. East Union and Manteca are at 22 and 23, respectively, with Weston Ranch at 32. First-year varsity Lathrop is 25th in Division IV.

The VOL’s top squad, Sonora, is seeded fourth, and rival Oakdale is sixth. Central Valley and Ceres are 17th and 18th, respectively.
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