Manteca came oh so close to pulling off a big upset on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the Buffaloes were nearly on the other end of a stunner at crosstown rival Sierra, which had just halted an 11-match losing streak two days prior. Manteca escaped with a five-game win — 24-26, 25-12, 22-25, 25-10, 15-8.
It’s the second time this week that the Buffaloes (8-3 Valley Oak League, 12-8 overall) went the distance. They had first-place Oakdale’s back pinned against the wall leading early in the fifth set before losing a heartbreaker.
“It was tough coming off that five-game match,” Manteca assistant coach Mike Morenzone said, “but give Sierra credit, they played well. They kept the ball in play and were digging everything we hit at them. We came out flat but we were able to finish well.”
Manteca outside hitter Payton Reis blasted a match-high 18 kills. Destanie Elliott contributed eight along with six blocks. Kacy Bolding also had eight blocks and distributed 19 assists. Kaitlyn Morenzone amassed 23 assists and 24 service points. Tawny Deerinck anchored the back row with 15 digs.
Sierra (1-10, 4-16) had strong play on the front row from Vanessa Benham (13 kills, three blocks), Lindsey Walljasper (nine kills, seven blocks) and Cecilia Salcedo (18 assists, six kills). Brianna Padua and Genni Hammarstrom finished with nine and six digs, respectively.
Manteca remains in second place with three matches remaining, and the top three teams advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Up next is a home match against visiting Central Catholic on Tuesday. Central is still in contention for a postseason berth and and is responsible for one of the Buffaloes’ three league losses.
East Union 3, Weston Ranch 1
STOCKTON — The Lancers (7-4 VOL, 15-7 overall) won in four games — 25-21, 25-16, 23-25 and 25-23 — but were close to having to decided it with a fifth.
Weston Ranch (5-6, 10-11) was ahead 23-19 in the fourth set when East Union’s Alissa Burrola (13 digs, two aces) took her turn at the service line. She served the final six points of the match, including an ace on the final play. East Union also pieced together a big serving run to start the second, as Jordyn Posz (13 assists) served the first nine of the game.
Haley England spearheaded the attack with 11 kills. Mariah Jeffrey contriubted five kills, while Amy Gann tallied four aces and 15 digs. Melissa King added 21 digs, 11 assists and three kills.
Amaya Finley accumulated 21 kills and 23 assists for the Cougars. Iris Murphy collected 29 digs and three aces. Jennifer Viguerias set 27 assists, and Janis Sanchez had five blocks.
Ripon 3, Modesto Christian 0
SALIDA — The Indians (6-2) rolled 25-19, 25-14, 25-10 in their Trans-Valley League match on Wednesday.
Breana Barrios racked up five kills and eight blocks to help lead the way. Stephanie Petlansky added 19 assists and four aces. Samantha McCreath crushed 11 kills. Sarah DeFreitas chipped in three assists.
Manteca 2, Sierra 1
Manteca raced away with a 25-21, 21-25, 15-3 win.
Sierra was led by Emma Brierly’s six assists and five kills. Hailey Steele scored on three kills and three aces.
Sierra 2, Manteca 0
Sierra swept 25-18, 25- behind Jenna Bolton’s nine service points, four aces and two kills. Kyanna Bingham contributed seven points and three aces. Savannah Guzman was lauded for her strong passing.