In a showdown between two of the top boys volleyball teams in the southern half of the Sac-Joaquin Section, Ripon Christian was able to take care of visiting Merced in three sets, 25-9, 25-13, 25-22.
Joel Van Groningen led the Knights (7-0) with 20 kills, three aces and three digs. He was backed by Josiah Reif’s 11 kills, four aces and three digs.
Setters Preston Zuidervaart (two aces, block) and Justin Hofman (block) delivered 21 and 16 assists, respectively. Griffin de Abreu contributed five kills to the attack. Silas Vander Woude had four kills and three blocks.
Merced, the first-place club out of the Central California Conference, is now 13-4 on the season. Ripon Christian also won the junior varsity match, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10.
Ceres 13, Lathrop 3
Omare Cross’ RBI single gave Lathrop (1-1 Western Athletic Conference, 3-3 overall) the lead in the top of the first inning, but it didn’t last for long.
Ceres (1-1, 1-9) rallied for three runs in the second and broke it open with six in the fifth. Winning pitcher Landyn Hudson finished with 12 strikeouts over six innings, giving up three runs on four hits.
A.J. Duenez had two hits for the Spartans.