The fun just may be beginning for Ripon High’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champion volleyball team.
After upending Trans-Valley League foe Hilmar in a five-game thriller Saturday, the Indians (23-4) will now compete in the CIF Northern California Regional Championships. Also earning a NorCal bid is Ripon Christian (21-11), a semifinalist in the SJS Division V playoffs. Both teams will resume play Wednesday.
Ripon came back to beat Hilmar 27-29, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 15-12 Saturday at Tokay High of Lodi behind Samantha McCreath’s dominant triple-double effort that includes 47 kills, 21 digs and 13 blocks. The Indians are seeded fifth for NorCals and drew No. 12 Sutter (18-14), which dropped a five-set match to West Valley in the Northern Section playoffs. The Huskies upset top-seeded Willows in a five-game semifinal. They’re the Butte View League champions.
The Ripon-Sutter winner faces either No. 4 Branson of Ross (21-11) or No. 13 Pierce of Arbuckle (21-9). Branson won the North Coast Section’s Division IV title. Menlo of Atherton (20-8) is the top-seeded team in Division IV despite not making out of the first round of the Central Coast Section open division tournament, where it lost to state No. 1-ranked Archbishop Mitty.
In Division V, Ripon Christian travels to Monterey to square off with undefeated No. 3 seed Santa Catalina (25-0), which swept all three of its opponents to claim a CCS championship. No. 6 Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento (27-10) or No. 11 East Nicolaus (15-7) awaits the winner.
Bradshaw swept Ripon Christian in the SJS semifinals before upsetting previously-unbeaten Capital Christian (21-1) in four games. Oakland-based Head-Royce (30-1) checks in as the No. 1 seed and was awarded a first-round bye.