Manteca bounced back from a discouraging loss with an encouraging win Monday against visiting Weston Ranch.
The Buffaloes, who were swept by crosstown rival East Union in their Valley Oak League opener last week, showed they can be a player in the race for a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff spot with a thrilling five-game victory (26-24, 22-25, 18-25, 25-17, 15-11) at Winter Gymnasium.
Manteca (1-1, 3-3 overall) gave itself a needed boost by winning the competitive first set.
“I think that was big because of how we played so poorly the last time out,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said. “We needed something to get that confidence and momentum going.
“We were a lot more focused and passed a whole lot better. It made a huge difference. Weston Ranch is a good, quality team, so this was a great win.”
Alyssa Burch keyed the Buffaloes with her front-row play, as she matched up with Weston Ranch’s more balanced attack. She finished with 15 kills and eight blocks.
Beth Aschenbrenner contributed 36 assists to the Manteca offense. Morgan Miramontes and Mildred Perez each recorded three aces, and Jsmine Basuil led the back row with 12 digs.
Bolding said Burch has been a tone setter all season.
“She’s been a presence and tonight she played real big for us,” he said. “If we can have her do that and have everyone else play good defense around her we give ourselves a chance.”
It was another tough loss for Weston Ranch (0-2, 4-3), which dueled Kimball to a five-game defeat last week. Kimball qualified for the postseason a year ago as the third-place finisher and figures to be in the hunt again.
Victoria Gulley shared match-high honors with Burch and pounded out 15 kills. She also served four aces. Elisabeth Alexander chimed in with 12 kills. Alex Marapao handed out 27 assists, and Nicole Kudla picked up 12 digs.
East Union 3, Lathrop 0
At Dalben Center, the Lancers held off a game Lathrop club to earn their second straight sweep (25-20, 25-22, 25-22) to start the VOL season.
East Union (2-0, 14-2-2) did it by sharing the wealth. Leslie Cuevas (7 kills) and Regina Dias (6 kills, 8 digs) were among the top producers on the front row. Jami Arceo (5 aces, 5 digs) and Carolina Gutierrez (12 assists, 5 aces) did their damage from the service line, while Courtney Posz pitched in 14 assists.
Oakdale 3, Sierra 0
Defending co-champion Oakdale put away the host Timberwolves quickly with its three-game sweep (25-17, 25-9, 25-5). Madison English (2 kills, 5 digs) and Fabiola Lopez (3 digs, 5 assists) led Sierra.
Ripon Christian 3, Gustine 0
The Knights rung up their 44th straight conference victory at Gustine on Monday. Game scores were: 25-12, 25-22, 25-12.
Andie Shelton was an all-around producer with 18 assists, nine kills and eight aces. Dani Erdelatz and Teagan Manus each blasted seven kills. Ellen Blankers contributed four blocks.
East Union 2, Lathrop 0
Jordyn Posz fired 16 service points, four of them aces, and four kills to help the Squires improve to 13-0 on the season.
Aiko Jones had 12 service points, Kaylie England hammered three kills and Mariah Jeffery recorded four blocks.
Oakdale 2, Sierra 0
Carolina Ortega paced Sierra with three kills and three digs. Vanessa Padilla and Brianna Padua contributed four digs apiece. The Timberwolves lost in two, 8-25, 16-25.
Weston Ranch 2, Manteca 0
Sabrina Rangel had five assists and nine digs, as the Cougars swept (25-13, 25-23) to improve to 7-0 overall.
Tralynn Simerley registered three kills and two blocks. Cassandra Alcazar also swatted three kills. Lily Aguilar chimed in with five aces.
Oakdale 2, Sierra 0
The visiting Mustangs rolled to a 25-12, 25-7 victory.
Jaleyna Tremor registered two kills and an ace for Sierra, while Vanessa Benham recorded two aces.