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Buffaloes overcome miscues to hold off Stagg in five
Manteca Highs Julia Martinez slaps it over the net as Vivian Vasquez of Stagg goes up to attempt the block - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

The Manteca High volleyball team got its first win of the 2012 season out of the way on Thursday, but it also served as a reminder that there is still work to be done.

After coasting in the opening set, the Buffaloes labored to keep up and eventually held on to beat visiting Stagg in five games (25-10, 22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12).

“I’m proud of the girls for sticking it out and coming back to win the last two games, but there were a lot of errors on our part, and that kept it closer than it should have been,” Manteca coach Tim Horning said. “The good thing is that it’s still preseason, so hopefully we can work our way through that.”

It appeared as if it would be a quick match in the early going. In Game 2, Stagg fell behind 0-6 as it struggled to execute serve receive passes. Following a timeout, the Delta Queens came alive while Manteca began its own rash of miscues, especially with hitting.

Stagg went on to take an 11-10 lead and was up as much as four, 19-15, late.

“We had our fair share of kill errors,” Horning said. “I thought the girls played very well in the first game, but I told them going into the second to not start thinking they’ve got the match won. I’ve seen it happen too many times, and sure enough it happened again tonight.”

Manteca (1-1) was able to extend the match in tightly-contested fourth game and battled back from an early 0-3 deficit in the fifth to clinch the win.

Ashley Gase led the way with 30 assists and 11 digs. Julia Martinez clubbed 12 kills, while Abby Behler and McKenna Balmut added nine apiece. Behler also paced the team with two blocks.

Nicole Magnusson contributed five service aces. Freshman Morgan Miramontes was solid all-around, finishing with five kills, two aces and four digs.