It was another night, another Valley Oak League win via sweep for Oakdale on Wednesday.
But host East Union at least made the Mustangs work for it at Dalben Center. Oakdale took advantage of late mistakes to win the first two games before ratcheting it up a notch in the final set. Scores were 25-18, 25-19, 25-12.
“We played with a lot of energy and competed with them up until the 17th or 18th points in the first two games,” said East Union coach Rich Posz. “We made some crucial errors on our side and did not finish.”
Only Sonora (5-0 VOL, 14-3) has been able to compete with Oakdale (5-0, 14-3) over the years. They are, in fact, the reigning co-champions, and in the last decade it’s been either team — or both — that has reigned in the VOL.
The Lancers (3-2, 15-4-2) are contenders for the third Sac-Joaquin Section playoff spot, but they aspire for more. They have another shot to prove themselves next Monday when Sonora visits.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” Posz said.
Wednesday’s effort was promising.
East Union was down 16-17 in the opening set when a net violation negated a kill. The Mustangs galloped away from there. And in Game 2, Oakdale didn’t lead comfortably until a four-point service run had it ahead, 24-18.
“We were neck and neck, we just couldn’t come up with those pivotal points,” Posz said. “We made a couple errors that took the wind out of our sails.
“There aren’t that many teams in league that have competed against Oakdale like that, so I’m hoping it’s a sign of us turning the corner.”
Regina Dias registered four kills and 10 digs to pace the Lancers. Madison Hoffman added three kills, and Carolina Gutierrez contributed eight service points and two aces.”
Weston Ranch 3, Sierra 1
Victoria Gulley rapped out 16 kills, as the Cougars (1-4, 5-5) downed Sierra (1-4, 3-5) for its first VOL win of the season. Scores were: 25-23, 25-12, 19-25, 25-17
Weston Ranch has already had some heartbreaking losses in league play, including two five-gamers out the gate. Capturing Game 1 despite five service errors was key to getting off the snide Wednesday.
“We haven’t been up 1-0 in a while,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “It was nice to get that one out of the box and we continued to play well in Game 2.”
Setter Alex Marapao (28 assists, 14 digs) was able to keep Sierra blockers off balance by mixing up the attack, which included Elisabeth Alexander (6 kills) and Vanessa Contreras (5 kills). Kelly Laughlin anchored the defense and finished with 14 digs.
East Union 2, Oakdale 0
The Squires (4-1, 15-1) rolled to a 25-11, 25-11 triumph behind the stellar all-around effort of Deja Guzman, who turned in 10 service points, six for aces, six digs and four kills.
Hayley England contributed six kills to the attack. Melissa King dished out six assists, while Jordyn Posz chipped in five.
Weston Ranch 2, Sierra 0
Weston Ranch prevailed, 25-22, 25-9. Individual stats were not provided for the Cougars.
For Sierra, Cecelia Salcedo wound up with seven assists and four kills, and Vanessa Padilla chimed in with nine digs.
Sierra 2, Weston Ranch 0
The Timberwolves swept (25-18, 25-17) with much of their damage coming from the service line.
Louisa Hunter served four aces and was on the line for 10 points. Jaleyna Tremor recorded seven service points, five of them for aces. McKenna Albrecht slapped down five kills to go with an ace.
Jaylene Tauga hammered three kills, and Nicole Bigornia scored with three aces for Weston Ranch (0-5, 3-6).
Modesto 3, Diablo Valley 1
The Pirates are enjoying a quick turnaround under first-year head coach Tiger Shelton, who previously guided Ripon Christian’s successful programs for nine seasons.
They began Big 8 Conference play with a four-game victory (25-11, 23-25, 25-8, 25-12) over Diablo Valley College. Modesto Junior College has already matched its 2012 conference win total after going 1-15 a year ago. The team improved to 13-3 overall and is ranked 25th in the state as of Sept. 24.
Shelton and the Pirates are doing it with local talent, including Ripon High graduates Sierra Daggett (middle blocker) and Bridgett Gall (defensive specialist) and former Ripon Christian standout Kristy Van Diver (outside hitter). All three are starters.
Turlock resident Sierrah Miller churned out 17 kills to lead the way Wednesday. She is among the state’s leaders in kills.