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.
The East Union frosh-soph soccer team improved to 4-0 on the season with a 5-0 home win over Sierra Tuesday.
Ripon High girls golf coach Eric Dambrosio was encouraged by what he saw from his young team in Tuesday's Valley Foothill League North Division opener.
After giving up the lead in the fourth quarter Thursday, Sierra bounced back with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Caden Worth to Brandy James with 4:53 showing on the clock and held on for the 12-7 win over visiting Ripon in non-league freshman football action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Weston Ranch successfully defended its Stagg Brown and Gold Cup crown on Saturday, securing the championship with a 2-0 win over the host team.
The Ripon and Sierra football teams will rekindle their rivalry in the marquee Zero Week game tonight.
LODI - Leagues are realigned.
Manteca and East Union are out for revenge, while Lathrop's second-year head coach returns to his hometown to lead the Spartans onto familiar grounds.
Brooke Riley stood shoulder to shoulder with a teammate, both staring down the third fairway at Manteca Park Golf Course.
LATHROP – Alfredo Reynaga hasn't wasted any time putting his stamp on the Lathrop High boys soccer program.
Weston Ranch isn't going to surprise anybody this year.
Ripon Christian has re-established itself as a force among Sac-Joaquin Section small-school powers following eight straight losing seasons.
The Ripon High boys soccer team didn't just lose the area's top player from a year ago.
Kevin Mendiola wheeled back with his right foot and took the ball off a bounce, sending it crashing into the back of the net.
An undefeated league record and a playoff win would be seen as successful for most teams. Ripon Christian did that in the 2013-2014 season, and for the Knights it was an off year.
In this her 10th year in the Sierra volleyball program, Timberwolves coach Trinity Johnson is looking to improve on last year's 1-13 Valley Oak League record – 3-19 overall – and she is not afraid to think outside the box to do it.