SJS Division IV playoffs
16-Hughson at 1-Sonora
9-West Campus at 8-RC
12- Colfax at 5-Amador
13-El Capitan at 4-Escalon
14-Highlands at 3-Calaveras
11-Central Cath. at 6-Ripon
10-Union Mine at 7-Bear river
15-Orestimba at 2-Hilmar
All matches start at 7 p.m.
Good news first: Ripon and Ripon Christian’s volleyball teams each get to host a match for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
The bad news is that they tough first-round draws, and it gets more difficult if they get advance past tonight’s opening round.
Sixth-seeded Ripon (18-10) welcomes scrappy No. 11 seed Central Catholic (16-9), while Ripon Christian (25-6) takes on West Campus (17-9) in an 8-9 matchup of conference champions. All matches are scheduled for 7 o’clock starts.
Ripon finished 6-4 in the competitive Trans-Valley League, which is also home to two of the Division IV bracket’s top-four seeds, No. 2 Hilmar and No. 4 Escalon.
Led by standout outside hitter Lauren Nicholson, Central Catholic was the Valley Oak League runner-up. The Raiders have a four-game nonleague loss to Calaveras, the third-seeded team and likely quarterfinal opponent for the Ripon-Central Catholic winner on Thursday.
Five-time defending Southern League champion Ripon Christian faces a West Campus club that hasn’t lost a Golden Empire League match in three years. The victor likely heads to Sonora to enconter the Division IV top seed and reigning titlist Wildcats. Sonora topped Hilmar in a thrilling five-game affair in last year’s final.
Ripon Christian remains the section leader with 15 titles, but all were earned in Division V. The Knights are 4-2 in Division IV since being bumped up in 2012. They lost in four games to Hilmar in the 2013 quarterfinals.