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Manteca tops East Union in VOL opener
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East Unions Sophie Williams (7) and Alissa Burrola (11) try to block a shot by Mantecas Jasmine Basuil (5) during the second game Thursday. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

In the Valley Oak League volleyball opener, the Buffaloes rode the momentum Thursday to squeak past rival East Union.

Manteca High (1-0, 3-3) started off slow before finding its groove in the five-game match at Winter Gymnasium, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 21-25, 15-10.

“Winning that second and third game gave us a big boost,” said Buffaloes coach Kevin Bolding.

His team initially had trouble handling the Lancers front line of Haley England, Sophie Williams, and Mariah Jeffery.

“We’re young,” Bolding added. “It took us some time to finally settle down.”

They made a run in that first game thanks to the efforts of freshmen Kacy Bolding and Payton Reis, pulling to within two at one point.

East Union (0-1, 4-4) got a pair of service aces from Jordyn Posz and Melissa King to close help close out the game.

The Lancers jumped out to the early lead in the second game behind Williams, who had four kills and a block.

Manteca kept close before finally surging ahead to even the match. Sophomore Sarah Inderbitzin began to find her hitting stroke while Reis delivered on a pair of spikes.

Game 3 was a seesaw battle early on until the Buffaloes found their rhythm. Morgan Miramontes, Kaitlyn Morenzone, Inderbitzin and Reis chipped to help Manteca pull away.

East Union did battle back to make it close in that third game and, despite falling behind in Game No. 4, rallied back on a couple of kills by Alissa Burrola and tap-in point by Mariah Jeffery.

“From there, it was race to 15,” said Lancers coach Richard Posz.

It was Manteca that sprinted ahead, scoring unanswered to open the decisive fifth game. “We came out with a quick start,” Bolding said.

Jasmine Basuil came in and served up a pair of aces to it 12-3.

Still, East Union managed to crawl back in, closing it to 13-8 on Taylor Ward’s service ace.

“The match was so back and forth,” Bolding said. “One team had to win and one had to lose.”

Added Richard Posz:  “There were a lot of momentum shifts in the match – they adjusted and dug out a lot of our shots.”

Reis finished with 19 kills to lead the Buffaloes. Miramontes and Inderbitzin chipped in with eight and seven kills, respectively.

Morenzone tallied 10 service points to go with her 11 assists. Kacy Bolding had 13 assists.

Melissa King had eight kills and four digs for East Union. Haley England and Burrola had 10 kills.