It was far from Sierra High's prettiest performance of the season, but the Timberwolves' 1-0 first-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs win over Cosumnes Oaks High leaves Sierra one win shy of a return trip to the finals.
Four area teams are back in the postseason after a one-year absence.
RIPON -Hilmar did just about anything it wanted on Ripon's home turf during the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs Tuesday afternoon at Parkview Elementary.
COLFAX – Heading into the intermission it seemed as if Manteca High had an outstanding chance at continuing its season with an upset over Colfax, but a pair of early second-half goals led the Falcons to a 3-0 Sac-Joaquin Section first-round win, ending the Buffaloes season.
Things don't get any easier for the girls soccer teams of Sierra and Manteca high schools.
STOCKTON - The third time was not the charm for East Union High senior Kyle Harman.
LODI – As difficult as it was to find parking at the Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Championships Saturday at Tokay High, an invitation to compete in the meet proved even more challenging with only a select few earning the right to compete in the area's closing meet.
Sierra High's softball team won its final Valley Oak League contest 5-1 on Senior Day Friday against rival Manteca, but the Timberwolves' season wasn't over yet.
Kourtni McCall found herself down 1-0 just three batters into the game, but the senior hurler found some resiliency she didn't know she had, lifting her East Union Lancers to a 7-1 Valley Oak League win and eliminating the Ceres Bulldogs from the 2010 postseason.
Lily Gonzales provided all the offense Sierra High's softball team needed in its Valley Oak League season finale against visiting Manteca Friday.
John Waggy had already turned around three East Union pitches for base hits, so when he got a shot to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth his chances were pretty good.
After an emotionally draining win Wednesday and a 12-1, five-inning romp of Weston Ranch Thursday, Sierra High pitching ace Gabby Hawkins is spent.
WESTON RANCH - Manteca High's baseball team is heading into the playoffs with momentum on its side.
ROSEVILLE - The north's tennis dominance over the south continued in the first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Singles and Doubles Tournaments Thursday at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club.
The East Union Lancers only had one participant in the Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Trials Thursday at Tokay High in Lodi, but Julia DeGroot made the most of the trip, earning a berth into the finals Saturday in a pair of events.
Sierra played perfect defense from the second minute to the 78th Monday against visiting East Union.
Brooke Riley shot an even-par 37 to lead East Union's 246-288 win over Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. Monday's win moves the Lancers to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After an explosive defensive Ripon Christian start left the visiting Orestimba Wildcats wearing roller-skates and its fleet-footed gunslinger struggling to breathe, the Southern League opener at Stouffer Field Friday night looked like an exercise in futility.
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.
Could a changing of the guard be in order in the Southern League?
STOCKTON - After a scoreless first half Weston Ranch hit two goals in a minute early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Valley Oak League soccer win over visiting Lathrop.
East Union was 40 minutes away from securing a huge Valley Oak League victory on the road Wednesday against Oakdale.
Ripon ended its nonleague schedule strong, as it crushed visiting Tokay of Lodi 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Wednesday.
Brooke Riley carded a 1-under 36 on Manteca Park Golf Course's front nine to anchor East Union's tightly-contested 251-256 victory over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
STOCKTON – One suffered a flat last week, stalling out in Modesto. The other has taken a while to warm up.
STOCKTON - There are close volleyball matches and then there was the Valley Oak League duel between visiting Manteca and Weston Ranch.