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Ripon falls to Sonora in home opener
VB--Sonora-Ripon 3
Savannah Lawrence of Sonora drills a spike toward Ripons Jacqui Uecker (9) and Breana Barrios . - photo by Photo by SEAN KAHLER

RIPON — The hole was just too deep for Ripon’s volleyball team to climb out of.

 After dropping the first two sets to visiting Sonora and falling behind by 12 points in the third, Ripon battled back to come within four points on a kill by Karisa Carlson, but the Indians could come no closer and lost to the Wildcats 17-25, 8-25, 18-25 in non-league volleyball action Tuesday.

“The first set wasn’t bad,” Ripon coach Adrienne Beltrami said. “We weren’t where we needed to be but we were starting to roll in that direction, but in our second set we just kind of fell apart. And it is really hard when you get down that much to fight back.”

Trailing 18-6 in the third set Emily O’Brien started the Indians comeback with an ace for the first of four consecutive service points. Sonora (10-3) broke service and then Carlson got a block and Ashlyn Eisenga an ace to go along with a Wildcats error to bring Ripon (6-4) within 19-14. Eventually back-to-back kills by Samantha McCreath followed by a Carlson kill closed the gap to 21-17, but Sonora shut the door for the win. 

“I was really proud of them in the third set,” Beltrami said. “They battled and worked really hard and I thought they were going to get that third set. And I feel that if we would have things would have turned in our direction.

“This is early in the season – it is our first home match – and I confident we are going to put all the pieces together. There are a lot of good things there.”

Carlson, McCreath, Jacqui Uecker and Bre Barrios all had four kills and McCreath, Lauren Weibe and Ashlynn Eiseinga each had an ace. O’Brien had 15 digs, Wiebe 14 assista and Carlson seven blocks.

“Coach said it pretty well when she said that if we play to our ability we can beat any team,” Carlson said. “Coach said that we needed to talk and we finally started to do that in the third set, but we were too far behind to get all the way back.

“We battled and we battled good but our hole was too deep to get back into the game.”

Sonora coach Kim Evans has seen improvement in the Indians this season.

“Ripon is always a strong program,” Evans said. “This is our third time playing them – once on a scrimmage, once in Reno and once here – and they keep getting better and better.

“They are the kind of team that you have to pay attention to so you don’t open that door because as soon as that door was opened they took off on that nice run.”

The Wildcats won the sophomore contest 25-15, 25-16 and the freshmen 25-16, 25-20.