MODESTO - No Montell Bland?
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
Eric Reis believes his Manteca football team to be the underdog for Friday's Valley Oak League opener at Central Catholic - just the way he likes it.
Could a changing of the guard be in order in the Southern League?
East Union was 40 minutes away from securing a huge Valley Oak League victory on the road Wednesday against Oakdale.
Ripon ended its nonleague schedule strong, as it crushed visiting Tokay of Lodi 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Wednesday.
Brooke Riley carded a 1-under 36 on Manteca Park Golf Course's front nine to anchor East Union's tightly-contested 251-256 victory over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
There are two things Mason Merilles loves:
Manteca's girls tennis team ended the first round of Valley Oak League play with a pivotal 5-4 win at Oakdale despite missing two regular doubles players Tuesday.
Lathrop threatened to force a fifth set but came up short against visiting East Union, which prevailed 25-15, 25-22, 13-25, 25-21 for its first Valley Oak League victory of the season.
McKenna Doyle posted her best score of the season Tuesday at Manteca Park Golf Course and was low medalist in Sierra's 258-287 victory over Oakdale.
Ripon Christian got back on track Tuesday with a 4-1 win at Waterford.
LATHROP - East Union was relentless in the attacking third during the first half, pressuring the Lathrop defense into mistakes with precision passing and outstanding individual play.
Help is on the way for East Union and Weston Ranch, and just in time for their Week-9 Valley Oak League tussle at Dino Cunial Field.
Ripon can forget about that over-the-top pre-league schedule that led to its 1-4 start.
Mahir Pepic asked Manteca High head coach Rick Cuevas to bark out his time while nearing the 2-mile mark at the Eagal Lakes Resort 3.1-mile course.
Ripon showed no drop off with reserves getting ample playing time in Wednesday's three-game rout (25-11, 25-15, 25-12) of visiting Modesto Christian.
Manteca held its own against Central Catholic and nearly forced a fifth set in a 25-19, 13-25, 21-25, 24-26 Valley Oak League loss Tuesday in Modesto.
Ripon Christian secured the outright claim to the Southern League championship with Tuesday's 2-0 victory at Denair.
Vista del Lago and Christian Brothers players took turns taking pictures with their prizes on the 18th green at Manteca Park Golf Course.
Ripon had two golfers finish in the top 10 in Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament held at Micke Grove Golf Links, but both played their final round of the season.
It all comes down to Wednesday's winner-take-all Valley Oak League finale between cross-town foes Manteca and East Union.
East Union lined up in victory formation on its own 5, down 35-21 in the final seconds of its intra-city duel at Sierra's Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
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.