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Manteca serves up sweep at East Union
Jonathan Rosas ends match with four consecutive aces
Manteca-East Union boys volleyball
Daniel Pedroza (11), Camden Steckler (8) and Angel Rodriguez (7) celebrate after Jonathan Rosas, center, ends Manteca’s match at East Union with a fourth straight ace. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

Jonathan Rosas’ first three trips to the service line did not last long Tuesday when he and Manteca visited East Union for a pivotal Valley Oak League match.

One of his first four serves, in fact, didn’t even reach the net.

The senior setter made up for it at the end of the match, jump serving his way to the final nine points of a 25-13, 26-24, 25-10 sweep for the Buffaloes. The result sets up a first-place showdown with their other cross-town rival Sierra, which visits Winter Gym on Thursday.

“This sets the tone,” Rosas said. “Let’s them know who the big dogs are.”

He capped off his match-ending service run in style, firing four straight aces. Rosas finished with five kills, 19 assists and five aces.

“I knew I had the power (to serve aggressively) and I was feeling it,” Rosas said. “I aced a couple and we had a good lead, so I was like, might as well increase the power and see what I can do.”

Manteca (3-0 VOL, 9-5 overall) was in full control during that third set, jumping out to an 8-2 lead.

Six-foot-4 middle Camden Steckler had back-to-back kills, finishing with seven to go with a match-high four blocks. Angel Rodriguez blasted one of his nine kills during the Buffaloes’ hot start, punctuating a rally in which Rosas had a pancake dig.

It was what coach Jennifer Reis wanted to see out of her team after it struggled to put the Lancers (1-2, 5-6) away in Game 2.

“We thought we made a lot of errors in that second set that gave them some easier points,” she said. “We wanted to make sure they had to fight for the points that they earned.”

East Union had its share of unforced errors in the second set, missing six serves. The Lancers still had an opportunity to even the match score with a 23-22 lead. After a timeout, Nick Grabowski came up with two clutch points for Manteca, scoring on a spike and a block. The set ended with a fourth-touch violation from East Union.

“It’s always big when you’re playing another school in town, and anything can happen,” Reis said. “We dipped down a little bit and gave them some life, but I’m glad we responded.”

Nathan Rodriguez paced East Union with eight service points, three aces and five kills. Gavin Silva added three kills and two blocks.

“It was rough, but I’m proud of my boys for staying with them,” Lancers coach Sabrina Ballin said. “Losses only make you stronger, and we know exactly what we have to work on now. It’s these matches I look forward to, playing good teams, because they push us and help make us better. We could have done a little better, but I thought we did well all-around.”


Junior varsity

Manteca 2, East Union 0

The Buffaloes swept, 25-18, 25-17.

Christian Pesqueda and Aidan Patton led the attack with five and four kills, respectively, while Fernando Lopez set eight assists. Johan Peringelil contributed three kills and two aces.