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Indians take third at High Sierra tourney
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RENO, Nev. — It takes a special volleyball team to be invited to Reno’s annual High Sierra Invitational, and every season the Ripon Indians’ invitation shows up without fail.

This year the Indians represented well, finishing third overall after losing to St. Francis of Sacramento in the tournament semifinals.

Ripon took down five teams over the course of the two-day tournament including Evergreen of San Jose, Golden Valley, Sonora, Roseville and Oakdale.

Del Oro met St. Francis to take home the hardware.

“At times we were red hot, absolutely on fire,” Ripon head coach Larry Keethe said. “Other times we were just decent, but when we were on fire, we were really good.”

Ashley Robinson took home All Tournament honors after turning in what Keethe described as an excellent tournament.

Ripon’s middle blocker drilled home kill after kill, as did fellow net-minder Lauren Fedderson.

Kelsey Johnston played every single minute of every contest and was lauded by Keethe for her efforts as well.

“We worked well together,” Keethe said. “Ashley and Lauren were just banging them. We’re getting better, but we have to get better yet. We’ve got to learn to outplay bigger teams, rather than trying to overpower them.”

Ripon beat Sonora in three games just three days after falling to the Wildcats in five in the foothills.

“We were down 16-24 against Sonora in Game 2 and came all the way back,” Keethe said. “That was really exciting.”

Keethe was impressed with Oakdale, which finished the tournament in fifth place.

The Indians (5-2) kick off the Golden Valley Tournament next week.

— Brandon Petersen