Manteca may be finding its groove, and just in time for the second half of the Valley Oak League schedule.
The Buffaloes conquered visiting Weston Ranch in a commanding 25-7, 25-23, 25-10 sweep on Wednesday, playing vastly better than they did in their previous showdown that resulted in a more competitive four-game win.
“They’re one of those teams that can sneak up on you,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said of the Cougars (1-6 VOL, 2-8 overall). “They’ll give you some problems if you don’t take them seriously, so it was good that we didn’t come out slow.”
And they ended just as strong after a multitude of unforced errors gave Weston Ranch a chance to steal the second set.
It was another impressive showing this week for the third-place Buffaloes (6-2, 9-3), who also ran the table against rival East Union on Tuesday. They won both matches despite missing top outside hitter Payton Reis, who is nursing a leg injury.
Middle blocker Destanie Elliott picked up the slack, finishing with 10 kills, 10 digs and nine service points — all team-highs. Tawny Deerinck added seven kills and five digs. Kacy Bolding contributed six kills and three blocks, while Kaitlyn Morenzone racked up 16 assists and five kills to go with nine service points.
“We passed the ball well, played decent defense was just steady,” Bolding said. “It was a good match all the way around. In the second game we made too many errors and they did a good job of keeping the ball in play and putting pressure on us that way. We got back to what we do. Everybody got to play and everybody played well.”
Manteca heads to Oakdale next Monday with hopes of avenging a four-game loss against the defending VOL champion.
Oakdale 3, Sierra 0
Vanessa Benham finished with five kills, three blocks and 13 digs for Sierra (0-8, 4-11), but the visiting Mustangs rolled to a 25-20, 25-13, 25-15 sweep.
Weston Ranch 0
The Buffaloes (3-5) won their second straight match, 25-23, 25-16.
Emma Kadillak led the way with 10 service points and eight assists. Alexis Rays anchored the attack with five kills, and Samantha Cerritos chipped in three to go with five digs.
Oakdale 2, Sierra 0
Sophia Schmiedt and Perla Valdovinos were standouts for Sierra in a 15-25, 20-25 defeat.
Oakdale 2, Sierra 0
Sierra dropped a 23-25, 25-27 heartbreaker.
Joceline Dominguez provided strong serving for the Timberwolves, recording 10 points and three aces. Natalie Dias amassed eight blocks and two kills.