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Ripon rolls Wildcats
Indians have no trouble taking Sonora
Ripon High’s Coryn Hernandez and teammates Paige Horwood show their presence at the net during the Indians’ 3-0 win over Sonora Tuesday.
RIPON – When Sonora High came to Ripon to take on the Indians, the matchup between the two perennial Sac-Joaquin Section playoff teams had the potential of an exciting contest. Only, Ripon was clearly the better club, dominating Sonora 25-13, 25-17 and 25-16 in the two team’s non-league action Tuesday.

The Indians wasted little time asserting themselves as the dominant squad, jumping out to a 17-5 lead in the first game and never relinquishing control.

“We played with medium intensity tonight,” Ripon head coach Larry Keethe said. “We could have played with a little more energy, but I was pleased with our effort and everyone did their job.

“Most importantly, no one got hurt.”
Ripon cruised to the easy victory behind standout play from its usual standouts. Kelsey Johnston was her usual dominant self, flying all around the court and turning in a game-high 33 assists. Cheyann Deprue paced the club with 15 kills and joined teammate Coryn Hernandez to control all action at the net.

Hernandez amassed 10 kills and turned around a handful of Sonora shots, giving Ripon a reliable force in the middle to count on.

“This season she has just been dominant,” Keethe said. “She is very hard to stop around the net. The only other middles that have been able to stop her were the 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-5 girls from Palo Alto.

“Otherwise, she is pretty hard to stop.”

Sonora clearly had no answer for her, yielding points to her nearly every time Johnston put her in position to finish. Ripon was able to distance themselves from Sonora in each of the three wins, allowing the Wildcats to hang around 16-13 in the finale, until reeling off the game’s next six points.

Ripon came into this matchup on the heels of a second-place finish in the High Sierra Invitational in Reno. The Indians won their first eight matches of the tournament, earning a spot in the championship where they fell to Palo Alto 25-6 and 25-15.

The Indians (4-1) will have a lengthy break, taking a trip to Lodi to take on the Flames followed by a trip south to Turlock for a meeting with the Bulldogs next week. Ripon is off to a pleasing start and only hopes to continue to come together as a unit heading into the Trans Valley League opener.

“I think that we can play better, but we are still coming along in this young season,” Hernandez said. “We still have a lot of work to do, and I think we are going to get a lot better.

“Sonora is not a bad team at all; we just came out on our game.”