LATHROP — What started out nip-and-tuck ended up anything but Wednesday night, as visiting Manteca pulled away in the first game and rolled through the next two on the way to a 25-15, 25-10, 25-16 sweep of Lathrop in Valley Oak League volleyball action.
Before either team got to nine points in the first set it was tied seven times with four lead changes. The Buffaloes (8-4 VOL, 14-6 overall) pulled away after that and trailed just once more the rest of the night at 1-0 to start the third game.
“It was about relaxing and playing our game,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said. “We had to keep the ball in play, be patient and take our shots.
“Lathrop does a great job of digging the ball. If you hit it hard, it seems like they love that. We tried a few different things and that seemed to work. Once we found our groove we stayed in it.”
Destanie Elliott (seven kills, five digs, four blocks) helped the Buffaloes find their groove with two blocks in the final three points of the first set and two blocks and two kills in the first seven Manteca points of the second game.
“You have to continue to play up,” Elliott said. “And we kept pushing.”
With outside hitter Payton Reis possibly gone for the season with a knee injury, Manteca has been forced to rotate players, has moved Tawny Deerinck from libero to a hitting roll, and she finished with seven kills and six digs.
“We were trying to keep the ball in play, keep the rally going,” Deerinck said. “We wanted to keep playing up to the level we should be playing.”
After battling valiantly in the first set, the Spartans (4-8, 6-15) came out and laid an egg in the second game, falling behind 10-0 and 19-2.
“We had no energy,” Lathrop coach Heather Anderson said. “I don’t know where it went.
“Normally, we rely on energy to play well against good teams – Manteca is a good team – and we had great energy last time we played them, but this time we fell asleep. I don’t know how else to say it. We simply did not have the enthusiasm it takes to beat a good team.”
Kaitlyn Morenzone had 11 assists and nine digs for Manteca. Kacy Bolding added eight assists and Sarah Inderbitzen three kills and two blocks.
For the Spartans, Ayzher Ocsona had 12 digs and an ace, Brittany Johnson eight digs, Fasha Hayes four assists, Karina Chavez three assists and an ace, Avleen Kaur four kills and an ace and Myani Thornton three kills.
Lathrop 2, Manteca 0
Jailynn Annise’s serving was too much for the Buffaloes as she had eight aces for the Spartans in their 25-20, 25-21 win.
Jordan Corner added 11 kills and Ayslinn Montes three kills for Lathrop.
Michaela John had 11 service points for Manteca and Kerren Zou added five.
Manteca 2, Lathrop 0
RaeLene Finley had four kills and an ace to lead the Buffaloes in a 25-22, 25-23 win.
Jayda Jackson added seven assists, three kills and two aces for Manteca and Leslie Rascon had three aces.
Rylie Asuncion and Casey Folgar had five assists for the Spartans with Dolores Stewart adding three aces and Karina Perez two blocks.