East Union was officially eliminated from the playoff race Thursday when second-place Central Catholic visited and won the Valley Oak League match, 25-16, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21.
That the Lancers (7-6 VOL, 16-15 overall) were even in the conversation this late in the season is an achievement for a team that graduated an all-league, first-team player, Regina Dias, and returned just three seniors. One of their highlights this season was an upset win over VOL champion Oakdale, which hadn’t lost to East Union in seven years.
“It’s something to build on for next year,” East Union coach Rich Posz said. “It’s exciting to know that we have almost our whole team returning for next year. The goal is going to be set a little higher.”
East Union proved again Thursday that it can compete with one of the VOL’s top squads. It was down 23-13 in the pivotal third set that it ended up dropping by just two points.
Edmi Lopez and Haley England led the Lancers with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Jordyn Posz recorded 24 assists and 12 service points. Amy Gann collected 15 digs.
“We made it interesting, just couldn’t quite get over that hump,” coach Posz said. “Central Catholic keeps the ball in play when you hit at them and makes you earn your points because they don’t make a lot of mistakes. The problem for us is that we put ourselves in positions where we always had to fight just to get back into it.”
East Union’s season ends with senior night against rival Sierra next Tuesday.
Manteca 3, Lathrop 0
The visiting Buffaloes (6-7, 9-10) prevailed 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 with Melissa Hansen (22 digs) and Taylor Bays (15 digs) anchoring the defense.
Beth Aschenbrenner finished with 26 assists and three aces while spreading out the attack to Mildred Perez (six kills), Alyssa Burch (five kills, three blocks) and Morgan Miramontes (five kills, 11 digs).
Kimball 3, Sierra 0
Sierra (2-11, 3-16) nearly prolonged its senior-night match in a 15-25, 25-27, 20-25 loss to the VOL’s third-place club.
Kristen Maestretti paced the Timberwolves with eight kills and 10 digs. Morgan Willis added six kills and two blocks, and setter Tayler Moss handed out 10 assists.
Oakdale 3, Weston Ranch 0
The host Mustangs (13-1, 23-12) secured sole possession of the VOL title with Thursday’s 25-13, 25-20, 25-23 victory.
Weston Ranch (4-9, 8-10) was spearheaded by Victoria Gulley’s four kills, three blocks, six digs and five aces.
Manteca 2, Lathrop 1
Manteca was able to squeak out a 26-28, 25-14, 25-14 win on the road.
Tawny Deericnk and A.J. Hoyer led the attack with seven and five kills, respectively, while Karisa Rubio put up 13 assists. Elena Montano and Caitlyn McVeigh finished with eight digs apiece.
Kimball 2, Sierra 0
Vanessa Benham rapped out five kills, and Vanessa Padilla served three aces in Seirra’s 10-25, 22-25 defeat.
Kimball 2, Sierra 1
Sierra came up short, 25-21, 20-25, 7-15.
Carlee Mahurin and Lindsey Walljasper (six digs) each pounded four kills. Jasmin Correa contributed 10 service points.