By the 30th minute of the Sierra-Ceres Valley Oak League showdown at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, the visiting Bulldogs had taken just one shot.
For the first two games Thursday at Sierra High, it was hard to distinguish between the Timberwolves and Mustangs. Both teams played fast-paced, hard-hitting volleyball, and both teams earned hard-fought victories.
CERES – Jackie Ketner was back on top of her game and back atop the East Union scorecard following a 177-253 win over Central Valley at St. Stanislaus Thursday afternoon.
WESTON RANCH - It took a team effort for Lathrop High's sophomore volleyball team to rebound from its first-game letdown and win a three-game thriller (19-25, 25-18, 15-12) against Weston Ranch Thursday.
Field turf. State-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. Roomy press boxes with restrooms and elevator access. And scoreboards that can light up and entire town.
It was Manteca and East Union, and yes, it was a drag-down, knock-out fight to the finish, but after falling in Games 1 and 2, 15-25, and 21-25, respectively, the Lancers stormed all the way back for 25-22, 25-23 and 15-11 wins in Games 3 through 5 Wednesday at Winter Gym.
Jamie Beck finished with 26 kills and impressed Sierra head coach Tevani Liotard, but in the end it would be another Liotard, Jaslynn, who would lead the Timberwolves to an important bounce-back win, 25-23, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-9, over Ceres Wednesday.
The Manteca High sophomore volleyball team flexed its muscle Wednesday at Winter Gym in an impressive 25-6, 25-14 sweep over crosstown rival East Union.
RIPON - It was a tale of two halves Wednesday at Mistlin Park.
OAKDALE – For the first hour of play Wednesday in Oakdale, nothing seemed to go right for the Sierra High tennis team.
RIPON – While Ripon High's dominant 25-10, 25-7, 25-8 road sweep of crosstown rival RC appeared entirely forgettable for anyone in the building wearing blue, Knights head coach Tiger Shelton hopes his players remember Tuesday's contest for years to come.
Ricky Pacheco saw an opening and reacted.
Kaylee Joaquin has been the leader of the Manteca golf team for three straight seasons.
With Ceres' recent upset of Oakdale, the Timberwolves are talking championship, and for good reason.
RIPON - After blanking Ripon in their first meeting this season, Hughson pitcher Courtney Thornhill was working on eight consecutive shutout innings over the Indians when she turned her ankle in the first inning and had to leave Tuesday's Trans-Valley League softball contest.
East Union may be peaking at just the right time.
Both of Sierra's points were awarded thanks to pair of grueling victories from its No. 5 and No. 6 singles players in a 7-2 loss at East Union Tuesday.
Two big wins from the bottom half of its singles ladder propelled Manteca High's boys tennis team to a pivotal 6-3 win over visiting Sonora on Monday.
The area's two best offensive linemen along with two record-breaking skill position players have been selected to compete in the 41st Central California Lions All-Star Football Game.
Manteca and Oakdale both needed a win, so it's understandable why both were unsatisfied with Monday's result.
Alexis Erich and East Union held a three-run cushion heading into the seventh inning Friday and were three outs away from a key Valley Oak League victory over Kimball.
Oakdale capitalized on its opportunities and Sierra did not.
With two of their top contributors out, Sierra High's boys swimmers suffered their first defeat of the season by a 99-71 margin at Kimball of Tracy. Kimball's girls also won by the same score.
Ripon's defense hadn't given up more than two goals in a game all season until Friday.
Only one of Friday's matches between Ripon and Hughson's co-ed tennis teams needed to be decided in a third set.
Josh Clark fittingly scored the deciding run on a dropped third strike in the top of the seventh inning, as Ripon avoided an upset at Modesto Christian with a 7-4 victory Friday.
Oakdale High's recent run of dominance includes seven straight Valley Oak League championships and six Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV titles in that same span.
Sierra's Jack Thomson turned to a teenager for direction late in a 7-1 victory, and the Hall of Fame skipper was rewarded for his faith.
Isela Rivera fired the game-tying goal in the 38th minute with an angry blast from 20 yards away that knotted the game at one apiece Thursday night.