You’re up, boys.
The girls matched your Valley Oak League championship and more.
Kacy Bolding and Kaitlyn Morenzone led Manteca High’s girls volleyball team to its first VOL title since 1991, the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals and just the program’s third CIF Northern California Regional Championships appearance. The two setters are the Manteca Bulletin All-Area Co-MVPs, an honor that has typically gone to players from the accomplished clubs from Ripon and Ripon Christian.
Last spring, boys volleyball was introduced to the area, and sure enough Manteca — coached by Kacy’s dad Kevin Bolding, who also leads the girls along with assistant Mike Morenzone, Kaitlyn’s father — ran the table for the league crown.
Kacy Bolding and teammate Payton Reis were there every step of the way for the boys and got to hear all about it.
“I thought it was unfair that in their first season they got to win everything,” Bolding said. “They definitely talked a bunch of trash, so we had to put them in their place. We went farther than they did in the playoffs. It’s definitely a fun rivalry between us because we’re close with all the guys who also play.”
Their fathers are longtime friends, so it’s understandable that Kacy and Kaitlyn are, too. They attended St. Anthony’s School together as kindergarteners and have been teammates since playing club volleyball in the sixth grade.
Reis, who plays outside hitter for the Buffaloes, is the third member of the team’s talented triumvirate of juniors that just completed its third year at the varsity level. Payton’s dad, Eric Reis, is also a prominent figure in the MHS coaching community having recently stepped down as the school’s head coach after 16 successful seasons.
“We have such a great friendship outside of volleyball and you can see that on the volleyball court as well Morenzone said.
The two setters were rewarded with the VOL’s highest honors. Morenzone was named Most Valuable Player after racking up team-highs in service aces (74), digs (262) and assists (456). She even had 157 kills, third most on the team, and 13 stuffed blocks.
“Her defense is amazing, and she’s our best server,” Bolding said. “She does everything, pretty much.”
The wiry and athletic Bolding wasn’t too shabby, either. She accumulated 131 kills, 349 assists, 35 blocks, 163 digs and 23 aces on her way the VOL’s Most Outstanding Player award.
“Kacy is great to play with,” Morenzone said. “She’s very open and very honest about herself and the other players. She just wants what’s best for the team.”
And the team achieved plenty in its 24-10 season.
On Sept. 13, the Buffaloes traveled to Oakdale and beat the reigning champion in four games. It’s believed to be their first win over the Mustangs since 1989, during Kevin Bolding’s first stint as coach.
“Beating Oakdale was a great feeling,” Morenzone said. “I know it’s been a few years.”
Oakdale did avenge the loss at Manteca’s Winter Gymnasium, squeaking it out in five sets. The Buffaloes ended up seizing the crown anyway, finishing 13-1 in league.
“It’s pretty cool to be the team to do it,” Bolding said. “Nobody sees Manteca for volleyball — it’s mainly known as a football school. It was kind of nice that our football coaches even recognized we were doing super well. It was great to get the numbers up in the gym and we can always come back and look at that.”
The Buffaloes stampeded their way to the SJS semifinals, doing so for the first time since 2002 after downing Los Banos at Placer on their home court. Their season ended with back-to-back road losses, first two top-seeded Sonora then to Liberty of Madera Ranchos in the NorCal Division IV opener. Manteca is 0-3 in NorCal matches, with the first two appearances coming in 1989 and 1990.
With the bulk of its starters returning, Manteca wants to achieve even more in 2018.
“We’ll have the team to do it,” Bolding said. “We should be able to go farther next year, but the focus will be to first win league again.”
You’re up, boys.