Ripon Christian dropped the first two sets to host Sierra 21-25, 25-27 on Thursday before bouncing back to take the next three 25-22, 25-18, 15-10 and win the first boys volleyball match in school history.
“We’re a new team, a young team,” Knights coach Kevin Tameling said. We are still trying to adjust to the speed of what an actual match looks like. This is just our second match of the year.
“This is a great time for these boys. They are playing hard and they enjoy the game and obviously we have a lot of guys that can play even though they haven’t touched the ball very much.”
After 40 ties into the fifth set, Ripon Christian (1-1) took the lead at 6-5 in the final set on an unforced error and never trailed again, outscoring the Timberwolves (0-5) 10-5 to end the game.
After he hit a kill to put the Knights ahead 12-7 in the final set, Kyle Rivera ended the night with a kill to make the score 15-10.
“We were out there playing hard,” Rivera said. “This feels pretty good.”
Fresh off the boys basketball team’s run to the CIF NorCal finals on Tuesday, Ripon Christian’s Cade Alger patrolled the net in mid-season form with 19 kills and three blocks.
“We had five new players come out this week,” Alger said. “We had one practice before this match so the first two games it was a little different. We barely knew our rotations, so we had to get used to that.
“Toward the end of the second set we started to understand our rotation and our roles and kept fighting hard and ended up coming out with the win.”
Dillon Zuidervaart was all over the court setting up his Knights teammates with 39 assists.
“Once we started working as a unit we got back into it,” Zuidervaart said. We started covering tip and really watching the ball and reading the other team even before they hit the ball over.
“And then we started to pass the ball which leads to a set and a hit. That’s volleyball.”
Joining Alger from the basketball team was Andrew Vander Weide, who hammered 12 kills and two blocks. Teammate Will Vermuelen added six kills and five blocks.
Sierra trailed 21-15 in the second set and battled back to tie the game five times before scoring the last two points on a kill by Lance Vann (17 assists, five aces) and a block by Carson Hibbs (eight kills).The Timberwolves would not win another set.
“I think at certain points we got a little too comfortable,” Sierra coach Michelle Springmeyer said. “And I think we let up on the basics like getting back into position — we kind of got ahead of ourselves.”
Cyrus Hunter had 14 kills and four aces for the Timberwolves. Jaylen Jackson added five kills and four digs, Carson Hibbs had eight kills and Daniel Bates six digs.