LATHROP — After two back-and-forth games Monday night visiting Manteca dished out eight aces down the stretch to pull away from Lathrop and post a 25-21, 25-17, 25-11 sweep in Valley Oak League volleyball action.
Chelsea Bruch took the serve for the Buffaloes (3-3 VOL, 5-5 overall) with a 16-9 lead in the third set and posted four aces over the next seven points before an unforced error gave the serve back to the Spartans (0-6, 1-11) at 23-10. Lathrop managed one more point before a pair of unforced errors gave Manteca the match.
Earlier in the third set with the score tied 6-6, the Buffaloes’ Morgan Miramontes slammed home one of her seven kills on the night and then peeled off eight straight points from the service line, firing four of her seven aces.
“This was a total team effort tonight,” Miramontes said. “We played pretty well.”
Alyssa Burch was dominating on the front line for Manteca, posting seven kills and six blocks. Chelsea Gomez had 10 digs and Beth Aschenbrenner 24 assists.
Buffaloes coach Kevin Bolding realized the impact his servers had on that pivotal third set.
“We played a lot better in the third game,” Bolding said. “But that was due in part to our serving. That helped us get over the hump.
“It is tough playing Monday games. But we have to play them like anyone else.”
Up until a 7-7 tie in the second set there were seven lead changes and seven ties. After that the Spartans never led, managing just three ties the rest of the way, all early in the third set. Lathrop coach Diana Kimbrough is working on trying to get her team to be able to keep up the attack.
“We have a sports psychologist we are working with,” Kimbrough said. “We have an early meeting Tuesday to make sure they are at the top of their game and working as a cohesive unit.
“We have a young team with a lot of juniors and we are coming together as we reach the second half of the season for what is coming.”
Regina Juarez had 11 kills and three digs for the Spartans. Desiree Mendola (seven digs) and Loreal Tayor (four digs) each added two kills.
Manteca had a 2-0 sweep in sophomore action and Lathrop won 2-1 in the freshman contest.
Oakdale 3, Weston Ranch 0
Weston Ranch fared much better than the scores (16-25, 18-25, 17-25) indicate at Oakdale. The Cougars (1-5, 5-6) led the defending VOL co-champion by four points midway through the second game, and in the third could not come up with the big finishing run after shooting ahead 10-2 early on.
“We played well,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “We’re finally putting it together. We’re stringing together eight or nine points, we’re just not coming through with that big point late in the game. But we are playing much better and the second half of league should be better for us.”
Alex Marapao had a busy night, finishing with 10 assists, nine digs and two aces. Victoria Gulley pounded out five kills. Vanessa Contreras contributed three kills to go with two aces and a solo block.
Sonora 3, East Union 0
At Dalben Center, the Lancers put a scare into the co-champion Wildcats in the first two games. Sonora escaped with a sweep, 25-21, 25-20, 25-9.
East Union (3-3, 15-5-2) failed to capitalize late in the opening two sets. The Lancers were down 20-21 before Sonora ran away with Game 1, then in the second EU clawed back from a 1-7 deficit and later led 18-17. It was tied at 20 before Sonora ran the table.
“We just made a couple of mistakes that hurt us,” East Union coach Rich Posz said. “We were right there.”
Monica King was the big contributor for EU with 12 kills and 11 digs, while Regina Dias chimed in with five and 11. Courtney Posz served two aces and assisted nine points. Carolina Gutierrez led the team with 11 assists.
Ripon Christian 3, Le Grand 0
Dani Erdelatz blasted 14 kills, helping Ripon Christian earn a three-game win (25-22, 25-13, 25-22) at Le Grand last Thursday. Erdelatz also served three aces.
Andie Shelton dished out 30 assists, while Amanda Evans picked up 14 digs.
East Union 2, Sonora 0
The Squires (5-1, 16-1) clutched up in a pressure-packed affair against the powerhouse program from the foothills. They came out on top, 28-26, 25-18.
Trailing 3-7 in Game 1, they battled back to take a 22-19 lead at one point before Sonora rallied. Melissa King’s ace clinched the set for East Union.
In the second game, EU again stumbled out the blocks to fall behind 3-8. They answered with two big service runs from Taylor Ward (seven points) and Alyssa Burrola (6 points).
Deja Guzman pounded four kills to go with nine digs, and Jordyn Posz added four assists.
Oakdale 2, Weston Ranch 0
The Cougars fell short in a tightly-contested loss in Oakdale, which prevailed 25-22, 25-21.
Lily Aguilar spearheaded the offense for Weston Ranch (3-3, 8-3), finishing with four kills and two aces. Sabrina Rangel recorded six assists and three digs.
East Union 2, Sonora 1
Fresh off capturing the Orestimba Tournament crown this past weekend, the Pages (5-1, 14-1) rode the momentum for a big win.
Loretta Kakala powered EU with seven kills, and Vanessa Cuellar handed out nine assists.
— Jonamar Jacinto contributed to this report