Manteca High coach Tim Horning sat at the end of the bench, head buried into his hands while his players settled into their seats on the other end of the court between the second and third games.
WESTON RANCH – This Valley Oak League season had been full of firsts for the Weston Ranch Cougars, and if the season were to end today they would be in first-place. But the team's business is far from done, as it took a gigantic step towards their goal with a 3-2 win over Sierra High Tuesday.
Ripon Christian's first stint through the Southern League has become as routine as bumping, setting and spiking.
The Southern League has not treated its newest member too kindly, as the Ripon Christian Knights ran into another one-sided defeat, 8-1 against visiting Gustine Tuesday.
The Manteca High cross-country team made a trip to the coast for the 39th Annual Half Moon Bay Artichoke Cross Country Invitational Saturday, competing against several programs at Half Moon Bay High.
After getting pushed round in two losses to start the match, East Union held a five-point lead with five points to go but couldn't finish the deal in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Oakdale Mustangs Thursday at the Dalben Center.
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 went to work on the Old River Golf Course front nine, beating the Jaguars 220-330 in their Valley Oak League meeting Thursday.
The East Union High varsity girls golf squad improved to 7-0 in the Valley Oak League, defeating Sonora Wednesday at the Manteca Park Golf Course.
East Union High varsity boys soccer squad maintained its first-place hold Wednesday in the Valley Oak League by blanking Sonora, 3-0.
MODESTO – The Sierra High varsity girls cross country team led the pack at Wednesday's Valley Oak League meet at Legion Park.
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.
RIPON – It may have taken the Ripon Christian Knights a little longer than planned, but the squad's 5-0 Southern League victory over Turlock Christian Tuesday came at the perfect time.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.
Ripon Christian's boys soccer team overcame a halftime deficit, and Andrew Manes nailed the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute to knock off host Le Grand 2-1 on Thursday.
The Manteca and East Union volleyball teams split their first two sets Wednesday before the visiting Lancers atoned for an earlier season sweep and pulled away to win the next two for a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17 win in Valley Oak League action at Winter Gymnasium.
East Union co-head coaches Brian Goulart and Dennis Wells figured this was the year that the Lancers' run of championships in the Sierra Invitational would end.
The hardest part of the schedule is over for Ripon's football team.