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Christian Brothers records 9th straight win over Ripon

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Ripon senior Lauren Feddersen dejectedly walks off the court while Christian Brothers celebrates its second straight Northern California championship victory and ninth consecutive win over the Indi...


POSTED December 2, 2009 2:23 a.m.
SACRAMENTO — The sting from Ripon High’s last defeat to Christian Brothers in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV finals on Nov. 19 was quelled by the thought that its season would still continue, and with it a chance to meet the Falcons one more time down the road.

They met again Tuesday at Christian Brothers’ Ron Limeberger Gymnasium, and for the second straight season it was for the Northern California title and a trip to Saturday’s CIF State Championships finale at UC Irvine.

This time the sting was felt.

Ripon’s fantastic season ended at the same place it did in 2008, with Christian Brothers prevailing with surprising ease — 25-21, 25-20, 25-13.

Top-seeded Christian Brothers will square off with Southern California No. 1 seed La Jolla Country Day for the state crown Saturday. The Falcons will make their third appearance at state in four years.

Ripon and CB’s section championship match was far more competitive. Ripon (39-11) came back from a two-game deficit and put itself in position to stun the Falcons (30-9) before falling short.

The loss to the five-time defending section champion was Ripon’s ninth in a row since 2006. Four of those losses have come in the section title match, and now two in the NorCal final.

“Frustrating,” said Ripon middle blocker Ashley Robinson, “but I put it all on the court. We played a lot harder the last time, so it’s a lot more (heartbreaking) losing in three (games).

“We knew we were going to have another shot (at playing Christian Brothers again), but now our season is over.”

Knowing that they’ve battled back down two games before, the Indians jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third after Ashley Robinson and Cheyann Deprue slammed back-to-back kills.

But Christian Brothers quickly countered with a four-point flurry capped by Anne Hoekman’s scoring spike.

The Falcons never trailed after that. Sarah Biondi went on a five-point service run, and three of those were aces. Jessica Jones later served in seven straight points to help Christian Brothers stake a 19-7 lead.

“We got off to a good start, then the wheels started coming off,” Ripon coach Larry Keethe said. “Our passing went to heck and that was it.

“Once the passing went, we couldn’t set the ball to Coryn (Hernandez), Ashley, Cheyann or anybody.”

Hoekman leads the Falcons in kills this season, but on Tuesday setter Kelly Pelz spread the attack around. Erika Cuevas and 6-foot-4 Megan Anders (three blocks) each had eight kills. Jessica Jones and Caitlyn Richard added seven apiece.

“We have a really talented team, and we’ve always been loaded on the bench,” Hoekman said. “There’s not just one player that teams can (focus on).”

The future looks bright for Ripon despite the loss of its three seniors: outside hitter Kallie Jacobs, middle blocker Lauren Feddersen and Sonoma State-bound Robinson.

The likes of junior setter Kelsey Johnston, junior front-row standouts Deprue and Hernandez, and defensive specialist Paulina Ceja will return with hopes of getting another crack at ending Christian Brothers’ reign.

“Next year,” Keethe said.
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