Much has changed in the Southern League volleyball ranks, but one thing has remained the same: Ripon Christian still rules this court.
For a fifth consecutive season, the Knights had one of their own crowned as Most Valuable Player. Senior outside hitter Dani Erdelatz carries the torch, following in the footsteps of three-time MVP Andie Shelton and standout setter Michelle Terpstra (2010).
Kara Ledeboer is Coach of the Year in her second year as Ripon Christian’s head coach. She shared coaching duties with Michele Shelton a year ago.
Setter Elisabeth Regusci and libero Makenna Koslosky were named to the All-SL first team. Elise Regusci earned honorable mention. The four Knights honored were the only seniors on the Ripon Christian roster.
The 5-foot-9 Erdelatz developed into the top all-around player in the SL. She finished with 450 kills overall (4.6 per set), racked up 56 aces, turned in 19 blocks and was second on the team with 250 digs.
Erdelatz doled out a season-high 25 kills in a four-game win over then-first-place Gustine. She had at least 20 kills on seven occasions, five coming against league opponents.
Elisabeth Regusci settled in well as Shelton’s replacement at the setter position. She accumulated 746 assists while adding 159 digs and a team-high 79 aces. Her importance to the team was obvious on Sept. 30 when Orestimba snapped the Knights’ SL winning streak at 59 with a stunning sweep. She was one of three starters out for the road trip.
Koslosky led Ripon Christian with 432 digs and 311 serve receives. Elise Regusci, Elisabeth’s twin sister, had 216 digs and 28 aces.
The all-senior quartet spearheaded Ripon Christian’s 12-2 SL finish, with both losses coming against Orestimba. The five-time champion Knights were 26-7 overall.
Top to bottom, the league was much improved from where it had been in recent years. Co-runners-up Mariposa and Orestimba and fourth-place Gustine joined Ripon Christian in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Ripon Christian defeated West Campus in the first round of the competitive Division IV tournament. Mariposa reached the Division V semifinals as the No. 5 seed, and Gustine won its first-round contest in the same bracket.
Orestimba and Gustine each had three first-team selections, while Mariposa had two.