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MHS wins 1st playoff match
Buffs knock out Hilmar with one-sided 3rd set
Mantecas Kylan Chandler (6) tips it past the block of Hilmars Cooper Maynard during a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff match at Winter Gym on Thursday. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

After two close sets, No. 4 Manteca closed out the third set on a 20-2 run to sweep visiting No. 5 Hilmar 25-18, 28-26, 25-9 in second-round action of the inaugural Sac-Joaquin Section Boys Division III volleyball playoffs on Monday evening at Winter Gym.

“This was unbelievable,” Buffaloes coach Kevin Bolding said. “At the beginning of the season, who would have known?

“We have come a long way. These guys have great attitudes and they just want to play.”

Kylan Chandler came up big for Manteca (16-2) in the pivotal second game that saw 10 ties and six lead changes. With Manteca climbing back from a 24-22 deficit Chandler (10 kills, 10 digs, four blocks) chased a bad set and was able to get to it for a kill for a 25-24 Buffaloes lead. 

Another kill by Chandler tied the score at 26 and Chandler and Cameron Reis combined on a block to end the game at 28-26.

“It was a good night out there tonight,” Chandler said. “We all had a lot of energy and the whole team really performed. We really came together tonight because it was the playoffs.

“This was just amazing. Having the chance to be out here tonight, I just love it.”

Reis (five blocks) had five of his game-high 12 kills in the first game, ending the game at 25-18 on his fifth kill.

“It’s about getting to the right spot,” Reis said. “You have to read the sets and make sure you are there for the block.”

Tydus Verhoeven rounded out the net domination for the Buffaloes with eight kills and two blocks. Oswaldo Garcia helped Manteca dominate the nets with 19 assists and Jonathan Borres added 15 assists.

“I was getting good passes and I was able to put the ball in position for my teammates to score,” Garcia said. “Those passes really helped and we played hard the whole time.”

Manteca had an opening-round bye and the Yellowjackets (24-10) downed Lodi Academy 3-0 on Tuesday. The Buffaloes travel to Garden Valley next Tuesday to face the top-ranked Grizzlies at 7 p.m.