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Buffs stampede past EU after dropping first set
East Union-Manteca boys volleyball
Manteca’s Aidan Patton (6) defends East Union’s Rodolfo Rocha (12). - photo by SEAN KAHLER

 With first place on the line in the boys Valley Oak League volleyball race Monday, upstart East Union came out and took the first set 25-19 before host Manteca bounced back to sweep the next three 25-18, 25-18, 25-20, keeping the Buffaloes in first place with two matches remaining.

“Kimball got us last week, and there are some tough teams in this league and anybody can win on any given night,” Buffaloes coach Jennifer Reis said. “We had to get going, because East Union is a really dangerous team.”

Manteca’s Mark Bondoc (35 assists, 13 digs, four aces) started the third set on a 9-point service run and late in the fourth set added a 10-point service run.

“My serve is all about getting the ball in, staying consistent and hitting my spots,” Bondoc said. “I needed to get those sets down on target tonight so we could get the points.”

Aidan Patton paced the attack for the Buffaloes (7-1 VOL, 16-3 overall) with 13 kills and three digs. He notched the final three points of the night for Manteca with a trio of kills.

“Garrison (Reis) and I have been working on running ones without the setter,” Patton said. “And we started executing that this match, and it worked out really well for us.”

Jesus Gomez (11 kills, 17 digs, four aces), Garrison Reis (14 digs, six kills, four aces) and Manny Ramirez (10 digs) rounded out the Manteca attack.

Lancers coach Sabrina Ballin lamented the fact that East Union could not maintain momentum.

“We got off to a good start,” Ballin said. “Set two and set three we found ourselves in some ruts where we would let them gain momentum – in the third set they led 10-1. That can be detrimental and be very tough mentally to recover from. We did recover, it was just too late in the set.

“It’s really difficult when you let the other team get momentum. That’s something you never want to see happen.”

Jai Aquino posted 13 kills and five digs for the Lancers. Rodolfo Rocha dished out 24 assists and tallied two aces, Xavier Gaspar added 10 kills and Tyler Dobbins served four aces.

Wednesday at 6 p.m. East Union hosts Central Catholic while Manteca travels to Sierra for another potential showdown for first place.

Junior Varsity

Manteca 2, East Union 1

The Buffaloes dropped the first set 22-25 before coming back to win the next two 25-14, 15-9.

Manteca’s Hayden Silva dished out 20 assists along with 14 digs and four aces. Logan Romriell added seven kills, seven digs and two aces with Dennen Loureiro chipping in six kills and 11 digs.

Christian Barajas and Gabe Estabillo tallied 16 digs apiece for the Lancers while Jacob Padilla, Elias Salgado and Oliver Desjardin added three kills apiece.