Weston Ranch mounted spirited comebacks in the first three games, but when intra-district host Sierra High attempted its own in the fourth the Cougars calmly put the finishing touches in their thrilling victory - 25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 25-19.
Manteca High still hasn't gotten over the hump, but coach Tim Horning saw some encouraging things out of his team in a three-game loss - 19-25, 12-25, 18-25 - to Valley Oak League defending champion Sonora Thursday at Winter Gym.
At this point, Ripon High will take goals any way it can get them.
East Union thought it could win its season opener against Beyer at Modesto Junior College Sept. 3.
Mike James isn't buying the hype. Jeff Harbison is.
There were several stretches during Tuesday's Sierra-Manteca volleyball match when the two teams would exchange unforced errors, essentially handing each other free points.
Manteca High set big goals for itself this season but got off to a rough start in non-league play.
RIPON - Hilmar High's grand return to the Trans Valley League wasn't so grand.
Lathrop High proved again Thursday at Sierra that it should not be looked past this year - its first with a senior class - in the Valley Oak League.
They're even. For now.
East Union High remains in step with the Valley Oak League's top two teams, Oakdale and Sonora, following a four-game victory (25-18, 25-17, 24-26, 25-12) over first-year varsity Kimball of Tracy Thursday at Dalben Center.
Oakdale and Sierra are the defending co-champions of the Valley Oak League.
Graduation turnover along with some injuries to key players has suddenly made the always-competitive Trans Valley League race a wide-open one - for second place.
RIPON - The atmosphere was a little more relaxed than usual for a live match at Jack Tone Golf Course Tuesday, but it might be what the golfers from Ripon High and rival Ripon Christian need going into today's Valley Football League Midseason Tournament.
While it's still early, Weston Ranch High has reason to feel proud of its unprecedented start to the season.
Sealy McAdams and Elizabeth Tolbert's last two matches in Thursday's Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament held at East Union had entirely different endings.
Alyssa Burch hosted another block party at Manteca High's Winter Gym on Thursday.
Injury-hampered Ripon gave up two second-half goals by Ulises Ramirez on set pieces and are now in danger of not repeating as league champions no thanks to Thursday's 2-0 loss at Escalon.
East Union considered last week's game with Lathrop to be its "Super Bowl."
Gerardo Romero scored two goals and assisted another in East Union's 4-1 triumph at Sierra on Wednesday.
Weston Ranch's coronation looked as if it was going to be delayed.
Manteca had two game-point opportunities in an attempt to force a fifth set against visiting Weston Ranch but came up short in a 20-25, 25-27, 25-16, 30-32 defeat Wednesday.
East Union won the Valley Oak League title and Brooke Riley is the MVP.
Tuesday's Trans-Valley League rematch against Ripon was sure to have been circled on Riverbank's calendar.
TRACY - The road to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs just got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team.
Kevin Bolding summed up Manteca's trip to Oakdale as a "tough night."
RIPON -Hilmar had the look of a team that had been there, done that in tight situations.
Weston Ranch clinched a second straight postseason berth with Monday's resounding 7-1 victory at Lathrop.
Jeff Harbison put his full trust in his players.
Sierra hasn't had a losing record since 2005, Jeff Harbison's first year as the school's head football coach, and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs in five of the last six years.