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Manteca no test for Timberwolves
Manteca High’s Davina Bennett (10) huddles with the team before the start of Sierra’s 3-0 win over Manteca. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The Manteca High volleyball team had no interest in rolling over for the Sierra Timberwolves, yet it was unable to muster a victory during a lopsided 3-0 loss in Valley Oak League play.

Sierra (5-3 VOL, 7-5 overall)  came in with a task at hand and was clearly able to conquer its goal winning handily 25-18, 25-21 and 25-15 in Winter Gym.

“Our goal was to come in here and get our work done and get out,” Sierra head coach Tevani Liotard said. “After losing to Central Valley I just feel that it doesn’t matter, the better team doesn’t always win.

“It’s always going to be the team that wants it the most.”

Sierra was clearly that squad, pulling away from the Buffaloes at one point or another in each of the three games. Manteca was able to post several quality rallies, yet when it was time to distance itself from the Timberwolves Manteca continuously came up short.

“I really wasn’t happy with our team’s effort,” Manteca head coach Tim Horning said. “Based on the fact that they hung their heads. They let Sierra take control of the game and a lot of that was from our errors.

“This is something we’ve been dealing with a lot this season.”

Points came in bunches throughout the match with Sierra pushing forward here and Manteca pulling back there, but when push came to shove Sierra’s front court proved to be too much for the Buffaloes to handle. In the final game Manteca put together its strongest push, scoring five consecutive points and eight of nine for an 8-5 lead only to watch as Sierra scored 16 of the next 20 points to cruise to its fifth league win.

“A lot of times it happens where you have a few errors here and a few there,” Horning said. “And then it becomes a mental game for them. They just don’t snap out of it. We’ve had some changes and that was the first time we’ve played with that lineup, but if you’re making errors you are not going to do anything.”

The Timberwolves were led by the standout play of Alysia Atkins and Jaslynn Liotard. The pair dominated the net and had little problem scoring, finding open space with soft tips or smashing points home with no return.

Atkins finished with eight digs, four blocks and a game-high 16 kills, while Liotard amassed 11 kills, six blocks and a game-high 14 digs in a tremendous effort.

“They performed really well for us,” Liotard said. “We have been working on a lot of corners and things worked well for us. They just couldn’t dig our good hits.

“Everything started with the pass, if I didn’t have my passers I wouldn’t have my big hitters.”

Modesty Rodriguez was the hot passer, finishing with 27 assists to go along with nine digs. Nicole Sylvester chipped in seven service points, while teammate Sierra Tailes had nine.

Sierra was led by Davina Bennett’s nine kills and Tara Dadasovich’s 19 assists. Chellsee Lee had a pair of blocks and Abigail Rosas hustled all over the court for her team-high nine digs.

Sierra will look to continue its recent hot streak when they play host to the Weston Ranch Cougars and Manteca will take advantage of a bye before traveling to Lathrop to take on the Spartans Monday at 6:30 p.m.

East Union 3, Weston Ranch 0
The Lancers rolled to an easy victory over Weston Ranch wining 25-20, 25-11 and 25-12 to even their Valley Oak League mark to 4-4 on the season.

Brittany Lamar paced East Union with six kills and four blocks, while Amber Abidi had three kills, three assists and a block in the win.

DeArbia Gardner led Weston Ranch with five kills and Andrea Vega turned in a game-high 14 digs in the Cougars’ loss.

The Lancers came up short in sophomore action falling to Weston Ranch 25-15 and 25-19, while the freshman squad came out victorious in three, 25-15, 13-25 and 15-9.

Weston Ranch (1-7 VOL, 1-12 overall) will have its hands full again today when they travel to Manteca to take on Sierra High.

Ceres 3, Lathrop 0
It simply was not meant to be for the Lathrop Spartans as they dropped a heartbreaker in Ceres to continue a rough opening act in Valley Oak League action.

The Spartans put together arguably their most impressive run of the season, dropping the three games by a total of just six points, leaving Ceres with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Ceres scraped by with a 23-25, 25-27 and 23-25 win, giving Lathrop a reason to believe good things are soon to come for the up-and-coming program.

“I was so proud of my girls,” Lathrop head coach Angela Cuellar said. “In my books we won because of how well they played.

“With an effort like that there is no way I could be mad at them.”

Lathrop was led by Britney Rallios who had 11 digs and one kill, Krystal Ruiz who contributed 12 kills, two blocks and three aces and Cecelia Lopez who had 13 kills, two blocks and a pair of aces.

Janel Butler continued to provide impressive play as a sophomore setter, handing out a game high 30 assists in the loss.

“Our team was absolutely outstanding (today),” Cuellar said. “We really should have won. The way we played out there we should have had every game, but it didn’t fall our way.”