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Ripon falls in showdown between two powerhouses
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STOCKTON — The Ripon High varsity volleyball team continues to stack up with the best.

Even in a loss.

In the battle between the two powerhouses, St. Mary’s got the better of the Indians at Morelli Gym on Thursday, winning the non-league match in four games, 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19.

“This match could have gone either way,” said Ripon coach Larry Keethe.

In the deciding fourth game, for example, his Indians held a 16-14 advantage. But the Rams went on an 11-3 run.

Despite the setback, Ripon — now 21-5, but still undefeated at 7-0 in Trans Valley League play — remained confident, according to Keethe.

“St. Mary’s is one of the best teams we’ve faced,” he said. “They have talent even on the bench.”

The Indians were paced by Kelsey Johnston’s 49 assists and Paulina Ceja’s 39 digs.

Cheyann Deprue chipped in with 29 kills and six blocks.

“Win or lose, we need to play teams like St. Mary’s,” said Keethe, who used this match to prepare his team for the postseason play.

Ripon can put itself in the driver’s seat to clinch the TVL championship next Wednesday with a road win at Escalon.