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Hard-hitting Golden Eagles eliminate Sierra in D-III playoffs
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LOOMIS — Sierra didn’t reach its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III first-round destination until there were about 15 minutes left till the start of the match.

The Timberwolves could have otherwise put up more of a fight, but it probably didn’t matter.

The sixth-seeded Del Oro Golden Eagles, with their quartet of heavy-hitting front-row players, jumped on Sierra at the start and coasted to a sweep — 25-9, 25-11, 25-24.

Sierra (15-7) qualified for its sixth straight postseason appearance but was also eliminated in the first round for the sixth straight year.

Del Oro (25-6), which tied for second place in the competitive Sierra Foothill League, was led by 6-foot Belle Obert, 5-11 Aly Duffin, 5-9 Emily Mattevi and 5-11 Hannah Oros.

“In the second game we started playing good, Sierra volleyball, and in the third we were ahead the whole time until the end,” Sierra coach Tevani Liotard said. “It could have gone either way, but they have bigger guns than we do.

“They have a lot of girls that can hit and hit hard.”

Sierra was less intimidated as the match wore on, and standout middle blocker Jaslynn Liotard shined. The senior finished with eight kills and two stuffed blocks. Alysia Atkins added three kills and six digs.

Setter Modesty Rodriguez ended up with 10 assists and 10 digs, and Michelle Arroyo had six service points to go with four digs.

All things considered, coach Liotard was pleased to see her team go down battling against a squad far more experienced. She found out after the match that all 17 of Del Oro’s players play volleyball year-round.

“They’re a very good volleyball club, a fine-tuned machine,” she said. “I told my girls they have nothing to hang their head over, because they’re high school athletes that competed with club players.”

Del Oro will face either No. 3 El Camino or No. 14 Woodland Thursday.

Division V

Ripon Ch. 3, Valley Ch. 0
ROSEVILLE— Kelsey Tillema had 12 kills to lead the No. 10 Knights’ upset (25-13, 25-23, 25-15) of seventh-seeded Valley Christian (19-3) of the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League.

Ripon Christian is the division’s two-time defending champion but will have to win on the road throughout to advance to the finals.

 “It was a great start for our team,” Ripon Christian coach Tiger Shelton said. “We’re starting to play good ball and we’re peaking at the right


Second-seeded Big Valley Christian (23-13) of Modesto or No. 15 Trinity Prep awaits the Knights in the second round. Last year, Ripon Christian swept Big Valley in the semifinal round.

— Jonamar Jacinto