After coming out with a dud, Weston Ranch ended with a bang.
The Cougars battled through a slow start to knock off visiting Manteca in a competitive four-game match (13-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22). The win is the first for Weston Ranch in Valley Oak League play under first-year coach Chris Bauer.
Weston Ranch is now 1-2 in league, 2-5 overall.
“The kids played very well and had great composure throughout,” Bauer said. “We didn’t fall apart at the end (of each games). Manteca gutted it out and kept a lot of balls off the ground. They have a very scrappy team.”
Candisse Griffin led all players with 12 kills, and Melanie Amen added eight. Aoloni Etu anchored the attack with 32 assists, while Audreanna Bigornia served up three aces. Niki Rayray spearheaded the Cougar defense with 39 digs.
Julia Martinez churned out nine kills and two blocks for Manteca (1-1, 4-3). Abigail Behler produced three blocks (2 assisted, 1 solo), and Kijana Nicols added one. Nicole Magnusson recorded 15 digs and two aces, and setter Ashley Gase handed out 19 assists.
Both squads have a tough test on Wednesday as Oakdale visits Manteca and Weston Ranch plays host to Sonora.
East Union 3, Lathrop 1
The Lancers (2-1, 5-4) took over the final two games to stave off an early rally from host Lathrop. Game scores were: 25-22, 13-25, 25-16, 25-20.
East Union led 10-3 in the opening set but later trailed 14-16. The Lancers were able to prevail in the first game but struggled with serve receive in the second. They put it all together from that point forward.
Alexis Steele dominated with 14 kills. Monica King chipped in seven kills, and Jill Costa clubbed four to go with three blocks. Courtney Posz contributed 16 assists, and Mariah Burrola had five digs.
The Spartans did much of their damage from the service line, as Monica Brambilla posted 12 points, while Brianna Bobadilla and Jocelyn Aranda added 11 apiece. Loreal Taylor pounded out nine kills, Kale’a Mitchell chimed in with 13 digs and Manraj Kaur contributed eight digs.
East Union hosts Kimball Wednesday.
Ripon Christian 3, Gustine 0
Coming off two losses to dominant programs in the prestigious Harbor Invitational in Santa Cruz, the Knights returned to action Monday with an easy sweep (25-11, 25-8, 25-14) of Gustine.
Ripon Christian squared off with the likes of Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I powerhouse Granite Bay and Palo Alto, the eventual tournament champion that is ranked fourth in the nation by MaxPreps.com.
On Monday, Teagan Manus tallied seven kills and five aces; Amanda Evans had seven aces and four digs; and Andie Shelton turned in 20 assists and a block.
Turlock Christian visits on Thursday.
East Union 2, Lathrop 1
The Squires (2-1, 6-3) came from behind to beat Lathrop — 23-25, 25-20, 15-8.
Shelly Dawson and Sabrina Hernandez provided solid back-row play, as each came up with five digs. Edny Lopez finished with four kills and eight points. Deja Guzman served 10 points.
Oakdale 2, Sierra 0
Monique Angel compiled seven digs, and Madison English had four in Sierra’s two-game setback (10-25, 15-25).