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.
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.
East Union showed no ill effects from a lineup change in Wednesday's 8-1 Valley Oak League victory at Sierra, claiming all but the No. 3 doubles match.
One streak has ended while another continues for Sierra.
New program records were set by Lathrop High's girls soccer team Thursday.
Things are looking up for East Union with the return of Nick Roundsville to the roster.
It was a tighter meet than Rick Cuevas had anticipated, but the end result was more or less what Manteca High's first-year track and field coach expected.
RIPON - The Ripon High enjoyed near-perfect baseball conditions on Wednesday.
The Sierra High boys and girls swim teams improved to 2-0 in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday after topping crosstown rival East Union. The boys won 95-74, while the girls triumphed handily, 114-55.
Sydnee Canales and Leah Manuleleua bumped and banged, pushed and shoved, jostling for every ball that traveled through the middle of the field.
Matt Rose edged out Justin Morrish by a stroke for low-medalist honors, but the team scores weren't as close.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
Defending champion Kimball proved to be the team to beat once again in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday, but the gap between the Jaguars and the rest of the field doesn't appear to be as wide as it was in 2013.