It took every point a winning team can get, but Manteca had more than East Union in a 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 17-25 and 15-10 Valley Oak League win Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The Buffaloes dominated the majority of the deciding set, jumping out on East Union 7-3. The Lancers would creep back, but a final Buffaloes rally infused with Lancer mistakes led to the league opening victory.
Manteca (1-0, 4-2 overall) crumbled like a cookie in the first game, trailing 4-0 before realizing league play was underway. The Buffaloes settled, climbing back into game one before a late collapse saw East Union pull out the first set with the final six points.
Manteca would have no problem seizing control from then on, taking the second and third sets before falling in the fourth behind East Union’s best collective effort of the night. For the most part, it was a challenge of which club could play bad volleyball the least.
“It was just ugly in a sense to be honest,” Manteca head coach Tim Horning. “We both made a ton of errors. Service errors, we’ve never had that many service errors or kill errors. We had way too many errors on our part.
“We benefited from their errors as well, but overall it was the intense East Union-Manteca rivalry that we wanted to see.”
Julia Martinez (9 kills) and Abigail Behler were integral in Manteca’s success, dominating at the net in both cases and Behler was instrumental in nearly every part of the Buffaloes offense. She would close with a team highs in blocks and aces with three and four, respectively.
“Julia has been our go to girl as far as getting some kills and she was the kill leader tonight,” Horning said. “She’s been our kill leader almost every game and she got a couple key blocks for us too. We just have to work on that consistency.
“When she’s on, she’s on and that’s where we need her to be.”
East Union (0-1, 3-4) seemed headed in the right direction, racing past Manteca in the fourth game to pull even 2-2. There were glimpses of the East Union that started the match, but with the match in the balance the Lancers had no answer.
“We were cruising there and then we got into a period where we couldn’t return serves,” East Union head coach Rich Posz. “We couldn’t return their serve and we let them serve like seven side outs and that shifted the momentum in the third game.
“I thought we had it back when it came to the fourth game, but you know, that’s the way it is.”
Alexis Steele led East Union with five kills and Jami Arceo pulled out seven digs. Monica King smashed home four kills for the Lancers.
East Union 2, Manteca 0
The East Union sophomore team entered VOL play against cross-town rival Manteca and the Lancers were victorious, winning 25-21, 25-15 in the VOL opener for both squads.
EU (1-0, 5-2) trailed in both sets, but responded in the final win behind Estefany Jauregui’s nine straight service points, closing out the Buffaloes after it was closely linked at 9-8.
Sabrina Riella was the culprit in the second game, reeling off four consecutive points when East Union trailed 4-3 in the first set.
Alejondra Rascon led the Lancers with seven kills.
East Union 2, Manteca 0
The Lancers snagged a victory in the VOL opener, handling Manteca High 25-19 and 25-20 Wednesday.
Taylor Ward led the club with seven aces, while Amy Gann contributed three kills and Mandy Roberts led the team with three digs.