MODESTO — Manteca’s postseason hopes hit a snag Monday with a 16-25, 25-16, 16-25, 21-25 loss to Central Catholic on Monday.
The Buffaloes (7-4, 13-6 overall) dropped out of the top three in the Valley Oak League standings with the resurgent Raiders (8-3, 15-6) taking over at third place. Only the top three teams qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Central Catholic has won six straight matches, a streak that includes a five-game upset of first-place Kimball. Manteca will need some help to advance to the playoffs but has a rocky road ahead. On Wednesday the Buffaloes travel to Lathrop, which has proven to be a tough out for all VOL contenders. The regular season then ends next week with home matches against Kimball and rival East Union.
“It’s a tough stretch from here on out for us,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said. “That’s why I tell them every day you can’t overlook anybody. I don’t think we overlooked (Central Catholic), we just didn’t have everything together.”
Setters Kaitlyn Morenzone (six kills, 17 assists, 10 digs) and Kacy Bolding (six kills, five blocks, 14 assists) did all they could with their all-around efforts. Middle blocker Destanie Elliott added 10 kills, three blocks and eight digs. Outside hitter Rhiannon Genilla slugged eight kills.
Ambria Schneringer paced the Raiders with 18 kills, 10 assists and six blocks.
“It wasn’t one of our better passing nights,” coach Bolding said. “It just seemed like every time we’d start to do something good something would throw us off and change the momentum and the flow of the game.
“You have to bring your ‘A’ game against teams like Central Catholic. Tonight, we didn’t quite have it with us.”