Payton Reis’ hardest hit of the night didn’t score for Manteca, but it inspired fellow freshman Kacy Bolding to finish what her teammate started during the most crucial moment of Tuesday’s wild five-game affair East Union.
Bolding’s kill gave the Buffaloes the lead for good at 13-12, and she later sealed the victory with a tip as the Buffaloes completed the comeback, 22-25, 25-19, 16-25, 25-14, 15-12.
East Union libero Amy Gann (18 digs) denied Reis’ thunderous spike with a diving dig, but Bolding was at the right spot at the right time to take advantage as the Lancers’ defense hustled to get back into position.
“When we see Payton hit a ball like that we think it’s a kill,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said. “We thought that one was down and it came right back up. Give East Union credit, they made some great digs to keep balls in play.”
Kacy, his daughter, said Reis’ big swing gave her the courage to follow up with one of her own.
“Payton is really confident as a hitter and she had a great night,” she said. “We just really wanted to beat them.”
Manteca (7-2 VOL, 9-5 overall) needed to pick up its play late in the match to notch the victory and remain alone in second place. It dominated the fourth game after a lackadaisical third, and in the deciding set the Buffs twice trailed by as much as five, 10-5 and 11-6.
“We kept battling,” coach Bolding said. “It wasn’t our best night, but in the end we made it our night.”
Controversy stalled the action before Kacy tallied the tide-turning point for the Buffaloes. East Union (4-4, 8-7) originally led 13-12 when Manteca middle blocker Destanie Elliot was called for reaching over the net. Coach Bolding lobbied for a do-over, contesting that Elliot reached after the Lancers made a third touch on the ball, which sailed out of bounds.
East Union coach Rich Posz was, of course, displeased that the point was replayed but didn’t blame the loss on the play.
“I don’t even know what the call was,” Posz said. “I’m not going to say much more about that, it is what it is. We shouldn’t have let it get to that point. We were up 10-5 and we just let the game kind of slip away. We played tough, we just made mistakes at the wrong times. Going up two games to one, we went completely flat in the fourth set.”
Manteca’s freshman trio of Kaitlyn Morenzone (17 service points), who served the final five points of the match, Kacy Bolding (seven kills) and Reis (15 kills) led the charge, but upperclassmen also came through in key moments. Elliott kept momentum on Manteca’s side after Bolding’s go-ahead kill in the fifth game by stuffing Haley England’s hit. It was her match-high third stuffed block, and she finished also had five kills.
Senior Morgan Miramontes contributed seven kills and 11 digs, and junior libero Tawny Deerinck had 24 digs to go with 18 service points. Senior Jasmine Basuil aided the comeback with steady back-row play in the final two sets.
Melissa King (17 kills, 18 digs) was the sparkplug for East Union, and England (seven kills, 20 digs) came up with several clutch plays. Setter Jordyn Posz finished with 20 assists and two aces.
“We played a lot better defensively and passed better (in the final two games),” Kevin Bolding said. “It seemed like in the first three games we didn’t move too well and looked about two steps too slow. That’s not going to get it done against a team like East Union. We knew they were going to play us tough and they did.”
Manteca’s previous win over East Union was also decided in five games, and the sweep gives it the tiebreaking advantage should it come down to it. Only three VOL teams qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, and reigning champion Oakdale remains undefeated in league. The Buffaloes have also swept Weston Ranch. Central Catholic and Kimball are others that remain in contention.
“(A win) would have put us right there with Manteca for second,” coach Posz said. “Fortunately, we still control our own destiny at this point.”
Central Catholic 3, Sierra 0
The Timberwolves (0-8, 3-13) were swept 16-25, 15-25, 15-25 by visiting Central Catholic (5-3, 10-9).
Lindsey Walljasper (five kills, two blocks) and Megan Westfall (three kills, seven assists) led Sierra. Carlee Mahurn (four kills, two blocks) and Emma Brierly (five kills, two aces) shined as Sierra’s sophomore squad cruised to a 25-13, 25-19 victory. The freshmen also won, 25-16, 25-17.
Oakdale 3, Lathrop 0
First-place Oakdale rallied past Lathrop (1-6, 4-8), 25-7, 25-20, 25-19.
Fasha Hayes spiked seven kills for Lathrop. Karissa Kammen recorded seven digs and three aces. Malia Akers chipped in with four solo blocks, Brittany Johnson turned in 10 digs and Joy Bautista and Raquel Haro each handed out eight assists.
Lauren Ott paced the visiting Mustangs (7-0, 13-9) with 11 kills, 12 digs and six aces.
Ripon Christian 3, Delhi 0
Carly Eastham scored with six kills and 10 aces as Ripon Christian (8-0, 12-13) routed the Hawks, 25-19, 25-12, 25-11.
Paige Vos also pounded out six kills, Hailey Van Laar set 10 assists and Julia Ray collected three blocks.