Ripon Christian laughs last.
RIPON - The hole was just too deep for Ripon's volleyball team to climb out of.
East Union's grueling opening week of the season may have done it some good.
Sierra's girls golf team opened the Valley Oak League with a statement Tuesday at Dryden Park Golf Course in Modesto.
East Union's 8-1 victory, its first of the Valley Oak League season, looks one-sided at the surface, but visiting Lathrop made the Lancers work for it on Tuesday.
Hairo Silva recorded his second hat trick of the season, and Lathrop needed every single one of those goals to top host Beyer of Modesto 4-3 on Monday.
Ripon got its revenge against neighboring rival Ripon Christian on Saturday, edging the Knights in the championship match of their own tournament, the Ripon Christian Soccer Classic, on Saturday.
The Lathrop sophomores never trailed in a 33-6 win over visiting Liberty Ranch in non-league action Friday night at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca High's girls tennis team got some valuable court time and, best of all, new T-shirts in its annual trip to the California Classic in Fresno.
East Union was slow to start for the third straight night.
Sierra missed on several scoring chances in the opening minutes of its nonleague affair with visiting Sonora and paid for it in the end.
Manteca followed up a well-contested loss with its first victory of the season Thursday night at Winter Gym. The Buffaloes swept Patterson, 25-18, 25-22, 25-11.
Alex Gonzales set a personal record with a 7-over-par 38 Thursday at Jack Tone Golf Course, where she helped host Ripon down Valley Foothill League newcomer Sonora, 166-181.
Manteca High striker Marcus Montano trotted off the field with about five minutes left in Wednesday's match.
RIPON - Dani Erdelatz came up big for Ripon Christian on Wednesday night.
Orestimba scored the first and final goals, but Ripon Christian did more than enough damage in between to leave Newman with a 5-2 victory and at least a share of the Southern League championship.
Injury-hampered Ripon gave up two second-half goals by Ulises Ramirez on set pieces and are now in danger of not repeating as league champions no thanks to Thursday's 2-0 loss at Escalon.
Gerardo Romero scored two goals and assisted another in East Union's 4-1 triumph at Sierra on Wednesday.
Weston Ranch's coronation looked as if it was going to be delayed.
Manteca had two game-point opportunities in an attempt to force a fifth set against visiting Weston Ranch but came up short in a 20-25, 25-27, 25-16, 30-32 defeat Wednesday.
East Union won the Valley Oak League title and Brooke Riley is the MVP.
Tuesday's Trans-Valley League rematch against Ripon was sure to have been circled on Riverbank's calendar.
TRACY - The road to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs just got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team.
Kevin Bolding summed up Manteca's trip to Oakdale as a "tough night."
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.