Weston Ranch mounted spirited comebacks in the first three games, but when intra-district host Sierra High attempted its own in the fourth the Cougars calmly put the finishing touches in their thrilling victory - 25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 25-19.
Manteca High still hasn't gotten over the hump, but coach Tim Horning saw some encouraging things out of his team in a three-game loss - 19-25, 12-25, 18-25 - to Valley Oak League defending champion Sonora Thursday at Winter Gym.
At this point, Ripon High will take goals any way it can get them.
East Union went to work on the Old River Golf Course front nine, beating the Jaguars 220-330 in their Valley Oak League meeting Thursday.
The East Union High varsity girls golf squad improved to 7-0 in the Valley Oak League, defeating Sonora Wednesday at the Manteca Park Golf Course.
East Union High varsity boys soccer squad maintained its first-place hold Wednesday in the Valley Oak League by blanking Sonora, 3-0.
MODESTO – The Sierra High varsity girls cross country team led the pack at Wednesday's Valley Oak League meet at Legion Park.
There were several stretches during Tuesday's Sierra-Manteca volleyball match when the two teams would exchange unforced errors, essentially handing each other free points.
RIPON – It may have taken the Ripon Christian Knights a little longer than planned, but the squad's 5-0 Southern League victory over Turlock Christian Tuesday came at the perfect time.
The Weston Ranch Cougars have definitely opened some eyes in the Valley Oak League with an impressive opening to the 2010 season, and that trend continued as the Cougars beat East Union in three games Tuesday.
The Weston Ranch Cougars continued their dominance over the Valley Oak League, turning in another perfect performance in a 5-0 win over the East Union Lancers Tuesday in VOL action.
Lathrop High proved again Thursday at Sierra that it should not be looked past this year - its first with a senior class - in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After a half of play the Ripon Indians had not shined or excelled, but their uninspired play had not hurt them on the scoreboard. That would change would when a botched second-half corner kick settled in front of the Ripon goal for what seemed like an eternity, and Hughson trickled it in for a 1-0 win Thursday in Trans Valley League action.
They're even. For now.
East Union High remains in step with the Valley Oak League's top two teams, Oakdale and Sonora, following a four-game victory (25-18, 25-17, 24-26, 25-12) over first-year varsity Kimball of Tracy Thursday at Dalben Center.
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.
The Manteca Futbol Club Flash under-12 girls soccer team might not have a flashy Northern California ranking, but that could soon change.
It is not often that a team has momentum after graduating its core players, but the East Union volleyball team is riding high going into this year's Valley Oak League campaign.
Justin Coenenberg is calling all former Buffaloes to reunite at Manteca High's Guss Schmiedt Field this Friday.
There are some new volleyball coaches west of I-5 this year. Stacia Stricker will assume the reins at Weston Ranch and Pamela Adams is the new coach at Lathrop.
Alyssa Burch, Beth Aschenbrenner, Mildred Perez and Chelsea Bruch were all freshmen during the 2011-2012 volleyball season.
Alex Hernandez slowed to a jog and eventually a brisk walk while running sprints with his Manteca High soccer teammates on Thursday.