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.
Sierra will venture into familiar territory Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs kick off but will wear an unfamiliar target on its back.
Back in September it seemed like a nine-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack Trans Valley League team, now Ripon High's 32-23 win over the Summerville Bears glares as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Summerville season.
Area goal leader Braian Gomez was one of five Sierra Timberwolves named to the all-Valley Oak League first team.
Neither squad has anything to prove.
A strong showing on the 2009 season lifted Sierra High into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Volleyball Championships and some of the squads' top individual performers were recognized.
RIPON - Just getting to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls volleyball championship at UC Davis Thursday would have thrilled the seventh-seeded Summerville Bears, but the berth merely seemed like business as usual for No. 3 in its 3-0 sweep over the visiting Mother Lode League champions.
AUBURN - Ripon Christian is back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title match for the third straight year with a chance to win a third straight title.
For the fourth straight season, in-town rivals Ripon and Ripon Christian are in the Sac-Joaquin Section's final-four round.
Escalon had a score to settle with Ripon on Thursday as the two met in a showdown of undefeated teams in the Valley Foothill League's North Division.
Travis Vander Molen found the back of the net twice as the Ripon Christian boys soccer team nearly erased a three-goal deficit in a 5-3 loss to visiting Delhi on Thursday.
The Weston Ranch girls tennis team played its most competitive match of the season in a 5-4 loss to East Union on Thursday.
It was a three-person race for low-medalist honors at Manteca Park Golf Course on Wednesday, where cross-town opponents Manteca and Sierra met for a pivotal Valley Oak League dual match.
Ripon dominated visiting Lodi in a three-game sweep (25-10, 25-14, 25-17) Wednesday.
The Manteca High girls cross country team has some work to do if it wants to keep its spot on the Valley Oak League throne.
RIPON - Despite an aggressive first half, Ripon Christian found itself down by a goal at halftime against visiting Le Grand, the defending Southern League champion.
East Union's girls tennis team relied on its depth to upend visiting Kimball on Tuesday.
The Manteca High girls golf team overcame a strong effort form Oakdale's Dylanie Donahue in a 287-297 victory at Manteca Park Golf Course on Tuesday.
No other Manteca-area volleyball team had a busier pre-league schedule than East Union, a young squad that second-year head coach Rich Posz hopes gained some valuable experience in the last three weeks.
Sierra was playing its seventh game in as many days Monday.
Shannon Wesley led a balanced attack with nine kills, and Emily O'Brien anchored Ripon's defensive effort as the Indians coasted past visiting Sierra 25-16, 25-7, 25-15 in a nonleague match Monday.
No one drew a tougher assignment to start the Valley Oak League boys soccer season than Manteca.
McKenna Doyle became the third different low medalist of the season for Sierra in the team's fourth Valley Oak League match Monday.
The Valley Oak League uses a points-based system to determine its MVP.