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.
STOCKTON - From milestone wins to program scoring records, Manteca High girls soccer head coach Justin Coenenberg reminded his players of all they've accomplished this season while standing on the center circle at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
STOCKTON – Sierra put up five runs in the second inning Saturday and rode the hot bat of Devi Coglio to a 9-2 win over Lindhurst of Olivehurst for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV softball championship in The Stadium at the Arnaiz Softball Complex. This is the third blue banner for Sierra in five seasons.
STOCKTON – The Ripon softball team did something Saturday nobody has done this year.
STOCKTON - For the second straight year, Ripon Christian is the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII girls soccer champions.
The Ripon and Sierra baseball teams will have to win two straight on the same night to advance to the final round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Fernando Segura struck out 11 through five strong innings for the Pirates on Saturday to lead the Pirates to the Northgate Junior championship with a 7-2 win over the Giants. Gary Alexander did a good job in relief of Segura.
STOCKTON - Ripon High had its chances in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V girls soccer championship game on Saturday.
STOCKTON - Sierra lost three NCAA Division I scholarship players to graduation over the past two years, while Nick Olmo stepped down as the winningest coach in program history.
SACRAMENTO - Down by three runs before even coming to bat Friday, the East Union softball team was unfazed.
STOCKTON - Chapter 5 of the Ripon-Hughson saga will take place at noon today at Arnais Field.
Sierra's Scott Tolman and Ripon freshman phenom Ty Wells have set themselves up to earn berths to the first-ever CIF State Swimming Championships with their efforts in the Sac-Joaquin Section Boys Trials on Friday.
STOCKTON - Perhaps the only thing that could cool off Sierra's sizzling bats was the rain.
No. 2 Sierra used a monstrous first inning to advance out of the elimination round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III baseball playoffs Thursday, defeating El Camino 12-2 in five innings at McAuliffe Memorial Ballpark in Sacramento.
The Valley Oak League's top girls swim team was well represented in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Trials Thursday at Tokay High in Lodi.
STOCKTON - Jeremy Wager-Smith was just too much for Ripon Christian to handle on Thursday.