STOCKTON — The Weston Ranch volleyball team is hitting its stride.
Losers of five of six matches in the middle of the season, the Cougars’ 25-16, 25-13, 25-23 sweep over visiting Sierra was the second win in the last three outings for Weston Ranch. The last time the Manteca Unified rivals met, the Cougars squeaked past Sierra in five games, the last of which was decided by an 18-16 margin.
“We are now coming together and starting to talk and play as a team,” Cougars coach Stacia Stricker said. “And you can see that positive effect on the court.
“We had a bump earlier in the season — I think every team has one at some point in time – but it is what you do after the bump that matters.”
There were three ties and two lead changes in the night’s first five points, but after that the Cougars (4-8 VOL, 8-10 overall) went on a 5-0 run due in part to the pinpoint serving of Shayla Moore. They did not trail again.
Victoria Gulley had a good game for Weston Ranch at both ends of the court, drilling three aces to go along with seven kills and seven digs.
“We played well as a team,” Gully said. “We communicated well and executed on the court.”
Complimenting Gulley in the front court was Elizabeth Alexander who had six kills. Jennifer Viguerias added seven assists.
“We all played together,” Alexander said. “We talked really well and had a positive attitude through all three games. We just kept it together.”
Trailing 20-11 in the third set the Timberwolves (3-14, 2-9) went on an 10-2 run capped by a Madison English kill and an ace by Brianna Padua to come within 22-21. Morgan Willis (eight kills) and English each added a kill to make the score 24-23 but the match ended on a Sierra error.
“That third game is how we are capable of playing,” Timberwolves coach Trinity Johnson said. “We played up to our potential in the last game and that as awesome.”
Morgan Willis had eight kills and Kristen Maestretti 23 digs for Sierra.
Weston Ranch 2,
The Cougars scored eight of the match’s last nine points – six on a service run by Haliyah Peavey.
Jenna Fernandez had six assists for Weston Ranch. Peavey had four digs and Kiran Kaur three kills.
Vanessa Padilla had five digs for the Timberwolves.
Weston Ranch 0
Emma Brierly had 11 assists and a kill and Lindsey Walljasper two kills and three aces for the Timberwolves in a 25-19, 25-23 sweep.