East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
The Jaguars (2-1 Valley Oak League, 9-10 overall) qualified for the postseason a year ago and appears to be in contention once again. They staved off a game East Union squad, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-14.
“Overall, I was pretty happy with how we played tonight as a team,” East Union coach Rich Posz said. “We did a good job of digging up balls — we had 63 digs tonight. We had some opportunities but we just couldn’t get over the hump. Hopefully we’re going to learn from this experience and move forward.”
The Lancers (1-2, 7-10) got Kimball’s attention early with the Game 1 win and had chances to put away the second set when then they nursed a late 24-23 lead. Kimball rallied for the final three points to even the score.
The third game was just as competitive until it was tied at 19-all. The Jaguars again closed it out strong, accounting for six of the final seven points of the set.
Haley England pounded out 12 kills to go with six digs. Alissa Burrola tallied 12 digs and two kills. Amy Gann garnered 11 service points, five of which went for aces.
Haley Shuey recorded 11 kills and 15 digs to pace Kimball. Sarah Nunes turned in three blocks and 27 aces. Brittany McLeod paced all players with 25 digs.
East Union gets another tough assignment next Tuesday at Weston Ranch.
Oakdale 3, Manteca 0
At Winter Gym, the Buffaloes (2-1, 4-4) couldn’t keep up with traditional powerhouse Oakdale (3-0, 10-9) in a 23-25, 19-25, 12-25 defeat. They were two of the three remaining 2-0 team in the VOL heading into the match.
Manteca missed an opportunity to take the first game when it was tied 23-23.
“We were that close from taking a game from them,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said. “In that second game we were actually up by 5-6 points and we just kind of stopped playing. We had our chances. Overall we played well. Just a couple of errors here and there and it’s a different game.”
Oakdale kept Manteca’s back line busy, as Melissa Hansen led the Buffaloes with 13 digs. Alyssa Burch collected five kills and five blocks at the net. Taylor Bays contributed four kills and 10 digs, and Beth Aschenbrenner set 13 assists.
Central Catholic 3, Weston Ranch 0
In Modesto, Weston Ranch (0-3, 4-4) encountered another tough team and fell, 20-25, 15-25, 9-25.
Elizabeth Alexander paced the Cougars with nine assists, two blocks and two aces. Victoria Gulley rapped out nine kills.
Manteca 2, Oakdale 0
The Buffaloes gutted out a 30-28, 25-17 win over visiting Oakdale.
Tawny Deerinck (8 kills), Ashlee DePrater (6 kills) and Emily Yu (6 kills) anchored a balanced attack. A.J. Hoyer and Sarah Inderbitzin had three blocks each.
East Union 2, Kimball 1
The Lancers improved to 2-1 after rallying past Kimball, 22-25, 28-26, 15-6.
Isabel Marmolejo served up eight aces, Kayla Montoya smacked four kills and McKenzie Mattos came up with two solo blocks.