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Mendoza gets Weston Ranch rolling against pesky Sierra
Weston Ranch outside hitter Kenneth Cha (8) sends the ball past the block of Sierras Erick Cuevas Del Rio (17) and Lance Vann (12) in Wednesdays Valley Oak League boys volleyball match. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Armando Mendoza took over the first set Wednesday with six kills in seven Weston Ranch points to break open what had been a close match and lead the Cougars to a 25-14, 25-16, 25-18 sweep of host Sierra in boys Valley Oak League volleyball action Wednesday.

The first set was tied for the eighth time at 8-8 and had seen five lead changes when Mendoza took over with his kill spurt, helping the Cougars (2-0 VOL, 8-3 overall) out to a 17-10 lead. 

Mendoza finished with nine kills.

“I give all the credit to my setter (Jarien Falcon),” Mendoza said. “He placed the ball right where I wanted and then I go up and get it.”

Falcon totaled 19 assists along with three kills and two aces. Teammate Rence Santos was all over the floor with 19 digs.

Ryan Nepomuceno chipped in from the back and the front lines for Weston Ranch with eight kills, five digs and an ace.

“Net play is something I have been working on for a couple of years now,” Nepomuceno said. “I feel like I need to continue to work on my game.

“We did good today but we can do better.”

Kenneth Cha added six kills, six digs and three aces for the Cougars. 

“It feels like it comes naturally to me,” Cha said. “I try and be an all-around player.”

The Timberwolves (0-3, 1-10) were competitive in all three sets and even took a 6-0 lead in the third. 

“This was not what I wanted to see,” Weston Ranch coach Debi Chavez said. “But it showed us what we need to work on and what we have to do to grow.

“This was a good lead in to the Lathrop game, which is next for us.”

For Sierra, Lance Vann had four assists, two aces and a block, Diego Garcia made five assists, Kurtis Parris had three kills and a dig and Erick Cuevas Del Rio and Abdiel Tesfandrias (block) had two kills apiece.

The 6-0 start for Sierra in the third game was due in part to the pinpoint serving of Vann who had an ace in that spurt. Mendoza, Falcon and then countered with a kill apiece for the Cougars in their own 6-0 run to tie the score at 6-6. The game was then tied at 7, 8 and 9 before Weston Ranch slowly pulled away for the win.

“We’ve been through some growing pains,” Sierra coach Michelle Springmeyer said. “We finally figured out how to keep talking and moving together as a unit. That’s really helped us.”