Just one match into the Valley Oak League season, Kevin Bolding already deems it to be a success for his Manteca High boys volleyball team.
The Buffaloes dismantled host Sierra 25-9, 25-14, 25-10 on Monday behind their dominant front line.
While the rest of its rivals got started in league last week, Manteca (1-0 VOL, 4-2 overall) opted to take spring break off. Three practices were held, though without full participation with several players leaving town for the break.
That would make most coaches nervous going into a league opener, but not Bolding.
“Our biggest thing is to try and be loose and have fun,” Bolding said. “We don’t know what anybody else is doing in league yet and that might be a good thing.”
Manteca showed little signs of rust.
Kyle Reis served nine straight points — he totaled 25 for the match — early in the first set as the Buffs rolled to a 10-1 lead following a kill from Kylan Chandler. They later increased their largest advantage of the match to 24-7 after an ace from jump-serving Jonathan Borres and a kill from Reis.
Sierra (0-2, 1-12) took its only lead in Game 2 when Abiel Tesfandrias stuffed Cameron Reis to make it, 2-1. The Timberwolves managed to keep it close until Kyle Reis went on another serving run, closing the set with eight straight points and Oswaldo Garcia ending it with a kill.
Manteca’s length at the net overwhelmed Sierra throughout. Cameron Reis and Chandler finished with six kills each. Borres recorded 10 assists, five aces and two kills.
Game 3 was all Manteca, which staked a 7-0 lead with Kyle Reis again at the service line. Much of the Timberwolves’ struggles were on serve receive.
“I think the biggest thing we need to work on is being ready to move and communication, that’s always a base for the game,” Sierra coach Michelle Springmeyer said. “They didn’t step onto the court ready to go and ready to talk. The communication just wasn’t there. They just couldn’t get off the ground.”
Tesfandrias led Sierra with two kills and two blocks. Lance Vann and Diego Gracia each set three assists.
Sierra hosts upstart Weston Ranch on Wednesday while Manteca heads to Venture Academy on Thursday for a nonleague contest. It gets tougher for the Buffaloes next week with Lathrop, Kimball and Weston Ranch on slate.
“We went from trying to stay in rotation in our first match to now putting some other things into it,” Bolding said. “We’re trying different sets, giving them different looks.
“These guys want to come out and learn — they can’t wait to practice. Hopefully they’re having a good time and that’s all that matters to me.”