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Ripon Christian sweeps top-seeded Urban in NorCal quarterfinal

Ripon Christian is making itself at home on the road.

The Knights traveled to San Francisco for the second time in three nights Thursday and again returned victorious in the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV NorCal Regionals, toppling No. 1-seeded Urban 25-21, 25-21, 25-23.

They have an even farther trip ahead, as fourth-seeded West Valley will await Saturday in Cottonwood for their quarterfinal showdown.

“We’re just excited and riding the high of beating some good teams,” Ripon Christian coach Kayla Kootstra said. “They had to dig deep to do it tonight. We were down quite a bit in all three sets, and the girls showed a lot of tenacity and determination to be able to pull it out in three.”

Urban (19-9) was in position to extend the match with a 23-20 lead in the third set, but the Knights (32-6), who were without timeouts, rallied to score the next five points for the sweep.

Ripon Christian had to chisel away at deficits for much of the match, trailing 13-6 in the first set and 15-9 in the third. The Knights had to overcome 21 hitting errors.

Jordan Vander Veen led them with 15 kills and three aces. Leah Van Wyngarden had 11 digs and five aces. Sydney Hoffman contributed 11 kills, and Megan Weststeyn distributed 34 assists.

Ripon Christian was seeded ninth for this tournament after rolling to its 18th Sac-Joaquin Section Division V banner. The Knights knocked out No. 8 Lowell, the San Francisco Section Division I champion, in four games Tuesday before taking care of the North Coast Section’s Division V titlist.

West Valley (29-6) is the reigning Northern Section Division III champ. The Eagles swept No. 12 Balboa 25-20, 25-26, 25-22 on Thursday.

“I think at this point we’re just kind of rolling with it, honestly,” Kootstra said. “Just enjoying the memories we’re making and the fact that maybe we were under seeded a little bit, and that’s OK. We’re the team we are regardless of seed, and the girls have showed that. We’re looking forward to another road trip on Saturday.”