Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Casa Roble at Guss Schmiedt Field didn't start out to be the game it was anticipated to be.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.
TUOLOMNE - They call it the great equalizer.
DAVIS - Ripon Christian had not lost a postseason game, let alone a match, leading up to its Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship-round meeting against top-seeded Bradshaw Christian.
DAVIS - Ripon has proven time and again that it can beat Christian Brothers.
Eric Reis is a fan of the Sac-Joaquin Section's new playoff format.
There were moments of brilliance and keep-away possession – the hallmarks of the Sierra girls soccer program.
RIPON – Ripon Christian sophomore Travis Zuidervaart had the Indians' lineup baffled Thursday.
Scheduling conflicts and other factors forced Manteca High girls soccer coach Justin Coenenberg to shrink the Buffalo Cup tournament field back down to eight.
The East Union boys tennis team showed little rust in its first Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday, downing visiting Oakdale, 7-2.
East Union's rebuilding boys golf team suffered a heartbreaking loss at Oakdale Golf & Country Club on Thursday, falling to host Oakdale High, 250-251.
East Union had one run taken away and gift wrapped another for Tracy in a 2-1 eight-inning loss at Agostini Field on Wednesday.
GALT - In the end, the Capital Christian press was just too much to handle as the Cougars started on an 8-0 run and never trailed in a 56-38 win over Ripon Christian in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V girls basketball championships at Galt High's Warrior Gymnasium.
Matt Rose led five Sierra players who produced sub-50 scores in a 217-317 win over visiting Weston Ranch on Wednesday.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
By JAMES BURNS
Weston Ranch put together a solid all-around effort in its season-opener at Stagg on Wednesday, winning decisively, 8-1.
Neil MacDannald is perfect so far in his return to the dugout as Manteca High's head baseball coach, though things didn't always go perfectly in the Buffaloes' season opener against visiting Beyer on Tuesday.
Manteca High's boys tennis team is looking to reclaim the throne in the Valley Oak League.
Sierra bounced back from its season-opening loss with its commanding 12-1 five-inning victory at Johansen (Modesto) on Tuesday. The Timberwolves were coming off Monday's 9-2 road defeat to Turlock.
Sierra Downum had a foot in both of Lathrop's goals in a 2-0 shutout at Pacheco of Los Banos on Tuesday.