CERES — Central Valley was outgunned on paper, but good old fashioned effort did the trick in its four-game upset against Sierra Monday.
The visiting Timberwolves thoroughly dominated the first game, 25-9, but dropped the next three in heartbreaking fashion by scores of 19-25, 23-25 and 24-26.
“I have to give it to them, they played their socks off,” Sierra coach Tevani Liotard said of Central Valley. “Their girls wanted it more than we did. Hopefully this is a learning experience for us.”
It was a loss that Sierra (2-3 Valley Oak League, 7-4 overall) can’t afford in its quest to advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. The T’Wolves dropped two of three matches last week to co-champions Sonora and Oakdale but played much better in those losses than they did Monday.
Alysia Atkins got Sierra started by serving nine straight points, four of them aces, to build a 13-5 lead. She finished with 19 service points, eight aces, six kills and two blocks.
“She set the tone, and we just played our game,” Liotard said. “Then Central Valley started working harder than we did. We just played careful ball tonight and tried to get it over instead of really hammering it.”
Sierra was without starting setter Michelle Arroyo. Modesty Rodriguez finished with 19 assists in her place. Middle blocker Jaslynn Liotard contributed team highs with eight kills, 14 digs and 10 blocks. Nicole Sylvester picked up 13 digs.
Sonora 3, East Union 0
At Dalben Center, Sonora’s big-hitting front line — led by Brittany Malone’s eight kills and three blocks — proved to be too much for the host Lancers, who dropped 25-6 and two 25-13 games.
Brittany LaMar had two kills to lead East Union at the net.
“Our passing was terrific tonight, even though the score does not represent how well my girls adjusted to their play,” East Union coach Eryn Bowers said. “Sonora is an outstanding team that plays excellent volleyball.”
Oakdale 3, Manteca 0
In Oakdale, the Buffaloes (1-4 VOL) put forth a good effort but were overpowered by the Mustangs, 25-12, 25-11, 25-15.
Davina Bennett led the way with three kills and eight assists. Cynthia Perez also had three kills, Dallas Mould added three blocks and Abigail Rosas turned in eight digs and two aces.
Ripon Christian 3,
In Ripon, Michelle Terpstra racked up 28 assists and four aces in the Knights’ four-game victory (25-12, 24-26, 25-11, 25-15). Ripon Christian improved to 2-2 in league, 4-5 overall.
Brittany Petlansky churned out nine kills to lead the offense, and Emily Lehy had two blocks. Laura Barry finished with 20 digs.