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.
Sierra sent the message early on when middle blocker Jaslynn Liotard stuffed Sonora's star hitter, Hannah Blume, to close the host Timberwolves in 5-8 Monday.
WESTON RANCH - After watching Weston Ranch take second at Manteca's own Buffalo Cup in the preseason, coach Justin Coenenberg figured his squad would have to give an A-plus effort to have a chance when the two met in Valley Oak League action Monday.
RIPON - Ripon Christian appears to have fully recovered from what head coach Kevin Tameling called "dead legs."
Ripon Christian head coach John De Visser was well aware that ace pitcher Connor McGovern was on his game Wednesday against visiting Denair.
It was a back-and-forth meet Wednesday between the Sierra and Kimball girls track and field teams, two early favorites for the Valley Oak League championship.
With some of its veterans a bit off their game Wednesday, Ripon looked to its newer players to step up against rival Ripon Christian in a nonleague match at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club.
Patience proved to be a virtue for host Sierra on Tuesday as the Timberwolves drew 11 walks in just four innings and defeated Kimball 13-3 in a mercy-rule victory in Valley Oak League baseball action before the rain rolled in.
After opening the Valley Oak League schedule with losses to two contending programs, Manteca High's swim teams picked up its first victories while braving the cold weather Tuesday in a double dual against visiting Lathrop and Weston Ranch.
The rain did little to slow Sierra's girls soccer team on Tueseday.
Six standouts representing the Manteca Futbol Club are being recognized for their talents off the pitch as well as on it.
The area's two best high school girls wrestlers competed against some of the best in the nation this past weekend and came away with All-America honors.
Sierra High senior Anna Cardenas is one of 51 student-athletes to be awarded a scholarship by the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Ripon's boys and girls swim teams won all but two races at East Union on Friday, but the host Lancers were able to make things interesting with their superior depth.
STOCKTON - Allie Walljasper struck out 14 in six innings, Julie Deanda and Maddie Penner each rapped two-run hits and Devi Coglio legged out a home run in Sierra's 8-0 win at Weston Ranch on Friday.
Manteca has finally broken though against Kimball, already a Valley Oak League powerhouse in just its fourth season as a varsity club.
Through the years, the Ripon-Hilmar girls soccer rivalry has been the stuff of legend – tug-o-wars for league championships and dramatic playoff matches.
Ripon won four out of the five doubles matches at Riverbank and returned home with a 5-4 victory and their perfect Trans-Valley League record still intact.