STOCKTON - There are close volleyball matches and then there was the Valley Oak League duel between visiting Manteca and Weston Ranch.
Manteca's girls tennis team ended the first round of Valley Oak League play with a pivotal 5-4 win at Oakdale despite missing two regular doubles players Tuesday.
Lathrop threatened to force a fifth set but came up short against visiting East Union, which prevailed 25-15, 25-22, 13-25, 25-21 for its first Valley Oak League victory of the season.
McKenna Doyle posted her best score of the season Tuesday at Manteca Park Golf Course and was low medalist in Sierra's 258-287 victory over Oakdale.
Ripon Christian got back on track Tuesday with a 4-1 win at Waterford.
LATHROP - East Union was relentless in the attacking third during the first half, pressuring the Lathrop defense into mistakes with precision passing and outstanding individual play.
Missed opportunities and defensive breakdowns kept Sierra from gaining at least a point in the Valley Oak League standings Monday.
Ripon High's girls golf team placed second among North Division teams in the Valley Foothill League Mid-Year Tournament, which was held Monday at Micke Grove Golf Course in Lodi.
Alyssa Burch and the rest of the Manteca High volleyball team couldn't mask their excitement after notching the clinching point.
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.
Sierra just missed out on having another finalist in the Valley Oak League Singles Tournament.
RIPON -Hilmar had the look of a team that had been there, done that in tight situations.
Weston Ranch clinched a second straight postseason berth with Monday's resounding 7-1 victory at Lathrop.
That stunning loss to Orestimba appears to be in the rear-view mirror for Ripon Christian.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.