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Big Valley no test for Ripon Christian; Knights slay Lions

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Big Valley no test for Ripon Christian; Knights slay Lions

Ripon Christian's Kelsey Tillema (10) and Michelle Terpstra (5) sound off during their 3-0 victory over Big Valley Christian in the Sac-Joaquin Section Divison V volleyball tournament Thursday.


POSTED November 13, 2009 3:56 a.m.

MODESTO – In what seemed like record time, the Ripon Christian volleyball team showed up to Big Valley Christians gym and ruined what was a terrific season when the Knights pulled off a second-round 3-0 upset of the hosts Lions.

Ripon Christian made quick work of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V No. 2 seed, smashing them 25-25-16, 25-14, 25-16 to advance to the section semi finals and a win away from Nov. 19th’s title match.

“I did expect this kind of performance,” Ripon Christian head coach Tiger Shelton said. “But with a young team like us you don’t know if it’s going to come out.

“The girls really played well tonight.”

That they did.

The Knights shook off a little rust in the opening game, distancing themselves from Big Valley Christian after the Lions put together a decent start.

Ripon Christian came out of a timeout with the score 11-11 and scored six of the next eight points, turning a close game into Ripon Christian 1-0.

“In all honesty the twins (Morgan and Mikaela Alger) started off a little bit slow,” Shelton said. “But then they started getting in their groove and things started happening for us.

“Everybody else then started getting in their grove and everything was really cool.”

Ripon Christian fended off each challenge the Lions presented, pulling away from Big Valley Christian with a 12-5 start to game two and a 15-8 run to open the final game. The Knights were led by the dominant play of senior Kelsey Tillema and junior Michelle Terpstra.

Terpstra was phenomenal in the win, dishing out 32 assists to go along with a game-high four aces. Tillema was as impressive, turning in a game-high 15 kills. Emily Leahy was solid at the net, finishing with a team-leading seven blocks and teammate Brittany Petlansky paced the club with 11 digs.

Now the Knights will set their focus on the winner of the Forest Lake Christian at Stone Ridge Christian matchup. Both teams come in higher than Ripon Christian’s No. 10 seed, so regardless of the winner the Knights will be playing their third consecutive road game.

Knocking off the tournament’s second highest ranked team has lef the Knights one victory away from shocking the section tournament field and lining up position for back-to-back-to-back section championships.

“They were the No. 2 seed and everything, but I don’t know what to expect next,” Shelton said. “These are young kids and we were just happy to make the playoffs. This has been kind of a Cinderella ride for us.

“They don’t have anything to lose right now. Nobody even thought we would make the playoffs.”

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