Manteca High handled visiting Los Banos in the volleyball playoff opening match Tuesday.
But it certainly didn’t come easy.
“It was all about momentum,” said Buffaloes coach Kevin Bolding after his team took care of the Tigers in three games, 25-17, 26-24, 25-19. “If Los Banos had won that second game then (the match) is tied 1-1 and suddenly it’s a different game.”
Manteca (22-8), seeded No. 4 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III, had its back to the wall against No. 13 Los Banos (22-13) in that second of the best-of-five game.
“That’s a spot we’ve been in several times this year. I’d like to think it helped us in this case,” Bolding added.
The game featured 12 ties with the Tigers, behind the front line of Brianna Feliz and Erika Gutierrez along with libero Laura McCullough, displaying flashes on what made them unbeaten in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Buffaloes led briefly, 16-13, thanks to a block by Sara Inderbitzin and a service ace by Rhiannon Genilla, who was nearly lethal up front. Evident of that was the senior outside hitter delivering on 18 kills during the match.
Los Banos rallied back, getting a pair of blocks from Maelani Adams.
Several unforced errors by the Buffaloes put them in a 21-18 hole.
“We’re able to unite at the time,” said Genilla after her team was down 24-22.
She delivered a pair of kills during the comeback including the game winner.
Manteca led from the get-go in the opening game. Kacy Bolding, Payton Reis, Kaylee MacDannald, Inderbitzin and Genilla delivered on some kill shots while Bolding and Kaitlyn Morenzone both had blocks.
Morenzone, during the three games, tallied 18 assists, 12 service points, and 10 digs.
Sophomore libero Emily Kadillak had 16 digs and Bolding dished out 16 assists.
In the third game, Los Banos jumped out a 4-1 lead.
But then the Buffaloes put things together behind the serving of Reis and Kadillak, who also had a pair of aces to give her team a 22-15 edge
The Tigers refused to fold, scoring four straight points behind the play of Gutierrez, who had two blocks and a kill.
Morenzone then put down a nicely placed drop that all but ended Los Banos’ season.
The final blow came with the Tigers hitting the ball into the net.
Next up for Manteca is No. 5 Rio Americano, which defeated No. 12 Placer, back at Winters Gym on Thursday.
Vacaville Christian 3, Ripon 1
VACAVILLE – The Indians staved off a sweep with a third-set victory but were edged in the fourth to lose 15-25, 22-25, 25-19, 23-25 in opening-round playoff action.
Ripon finished the season at 11-13.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.