By JONAMAR JACINTO
Sierra was three points away from assuring at least a fourth game against reigning San Joaquin Athletic Association champion Bear Creek on Wednesday.
The host Timberwolves were ahead 22-17 in the second set, and it was a drastic turnaround from the Game 1 letdown.
“We showed intensity and we showed we wanted it,” Sierra coach Trinity Johnson said. “They didn’t let their mistakes get them down.”
Enter Mikayla Altheide, Bear Creek’s serving dynamo. The senior served five straight points — a stretch that included three aces and kills from Delcie Coulter and Hallie Briscoe — to give the Bruins a 23-22 lead. Standout junior Destiny Williams later completed the comeback stuff block in what was otherwise an uneventful sweep favoring Bear Creek, which claimed the other two sets with 25-15 scores.
“(Altheide) did that for us all of last year and it’s great to see her continue to be confident enough to just go up there and swing,” Bear Creek coach Klucznik said. “She’s a senior and she’s going for it. When it was her turn (to serve) I thought we had a chance.”
The Bruins didn’t give Sierra much of one in Games 1 and 3. Sierra struggled all match with serve receive, and Bear Creek took advantage by recording 15 aces. Altheide accounted for six aces, and sophomore setter Mikaela Kahler had 15 assists.
Megan Westfall handed out 12 assists for Sierra, and Vanessa Benham finished with four blocks. The Timberwolves are back in action tonight against Aspire Langston Hughes Academy in Stockton.
“That’s the whole point of the preseason is to learn what areas you need to work on,” Johnson said. “This was our third match this week and we’re definitely learning and making progress.”
Sierra’s sophomore squad won 17-25, 25-23, 15-9. Kylie Matteroli led the way with five aces and three kills.
Weston Ranch 3, Edison 0
At Edison, the Cougars (1-0) rolled to a 25-18, 25-15, 25-20 triumph.
Amaya Finley spearheaded the attack with 11 kills and six aces. Jennifer Viguerias turned in 17 assists, Iris Muprhy had 23 digs and Cassandra Alcazar collected 11 blocks.
Weston Ranch also swept both lower-level matches.
West 3, Manteca 1
At Guss Schmiedt Field, the Buffaloes (2-1) suffered their first loss of the season after Kevin Rodriguez’s goal gave them the first lead late in the first half.
The Wolf Pack (2-0) from Tracy answered with on a set piece with less than a minute remaining in the opening half and buried the go-ahead and insurance goals in the final 12 minutes of the match.
“We played really well for about two-thirds of the game,” Manteca coach Justin Coeneberg said. “We made some big errors that led to their goals, but those are things we can fix.”
Manteca opens its Buffalo Cup tournament Friday against Calaveras at 4:15 p.m.
Weston Ranch 5, Edison 0
At Edison, Joseph Mayorca scored a goal and assisted another in a nonleague rout favoring the Cougars (4-1-1). Deon Coffey, Bryant Ortiz, Omar Centeno and Cristian Paredes added a goal apiece.
In the frosh-soph game, Mario Martinez struck twice as Weston Ranch won, 4-2.
Laguna Creek 0
At Manteca, the Buffaloes (1-1) had little trouble getting past Laguna Creek in a nonleague match.
Elizabeth Tolbert cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Salma Prasad at No. 1 singles. Katie Inderbitzin (6-2, 6-0), Koryn Menasco (6-2, 6-0), Gladis Sandoval (6-4, 6-4), Taylor Corona (6-2, 6-2) and Julia Tang (6-1, 6-0) also swept.
Jessica Tang/Ravneet Dhillon (6-2, 6-1), Makenna Condit/Navina Mann (6-1, 6-0) and Julianna Eavenson/Ivy Benson (6-2, 6-1) were the winners in doubles. Manteca returns to Valley Oak League play today as it play shost to Manteca.