Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
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.
With help from East Union, Weston Ranch finds itself comfortably ahead of the pack at the midway point of the Valley Oak League boys soccer season.
Jacqui Uecker collected 12 kills, seven digs, two aces and a block to help Ripon ward off Riverbank 25-12, 10-25, 25-12, 25-16 in a Trans-Valley League volleyball match on Monday.
Manteca kept up a relentless attack from the opening kickoff to the final buzzer Friday and defeated host Lathrop 48-6 in Valley Oak League sophomore action at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca swept East Union to open Valley Oak League play.
Noah Lehmann has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, the deceptive speed to blow by defenders and the requisite finishing touch of a striker.
Manteca returned to its winning ways Thursday when it dispatched visiting Sierra, 6-3.
Sierra remains on the heels of Valley Oak League-leading East Union after notching a decisive 242-271 win over Central Catholic at Manteca Park Golf Course Thursday.
Central Catholic remains in the driver's seat for the Valley Oak League championship after the conference's newest member knocked off defending titlist Manteca 6-3 for a second time this season.
LATHROP - With just two goals scored in the game's first 60 minutes, Manteca and Lathrop combined for three in a five-minute span in Wednesday's Valley Oak League contest at Bennie Gatto Field.
Ripon was undaunted by its first Trans-Valley League assignment Wednesday.
Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros could sense the frustration mounting from his Cougars in the first half of their Valley Oak League match at Oakdale on wednesday.
Brooke Riley capped off an impressive week Wednesday, shooting 5-under-par 31 on the links-style front nine at Tracy's Old River Golf Course, as East Union continued its Valley Oak League title defense with a 205-225 win against host Kimball.
Taylor Bays can serve. And she can dig, too.
RIPON - Nothing is coming easy in what is shaping up to be a competitive Southern League boys soccer season.
East Union kept host Weston Ranch on its heels thanks to big serving runs from Jordyn Posz and Destiny Flores.