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Buffaloes battle, yet fall in five
East Union’s Lexy Posz makes a key play in the fifth game of EU’s 3-2 win over Manteca Tuesday.
East Union head coach Eryn Bowers was in disbelief as her Lancers blew an early two games to none lead over Manteca High, needing a come-from-behind fifth game thriller to sneak away from Manteca High with a 3-2 win Tuesday in Valley Oak League action.

East Union looked the part of the dominant club to open, stopping the Buffaloes when it counted in a 27-25 first game win and then practically cruising in a 25-19 game two win. However, with the 2-0 lead, everything crumbled and a rejuvenated Buffaloes team shocked the Lancers with back-to-back wins.

With the match in the balance, East Union was able to close the door, fending Manteca off 15-13 for the spirited VOL win.

“Manteca wanted it more than us,” East Union playmaker Brittany Lamar said. “We definitely did not have a good practice, and how we practiced is how we played in the game.

“They wanted it more; we just somehow were able to pull through.”

Pulling through had a lot to do with Lamar’s efforts. The senior captain, who usually dominated play from the net, moved to the back row and put together some of her best volleyball. Lamar took control of a frustrated Lancer lineup, and led them to victory with an energy-sapping five-game effort.

“Lamar can play all the way around the court,” Bowers said. “She wants to play outside hitter. Tonight, she was definitely on, so I wanted to keep her in and keep the energy going.

“I really like how I know I can count on her.”

The Buffaloes came as close as a team can come in a losing effort. After resurrecting themselves from the 2-0 deficit, Manteca clearly outplayed the Lancers over the next two games, outscoring East Union 50-30 in their two wins.

Manteca has seen its share of struggles throughout the VOL season, but the team nearly pulled off a huge upset and will definitely gain the remainder of the league’s full attention the rest of the way.

“I am stoked with my team,” Manteca head coach Tim Horning said. “I thought it was here we go again, just like it was with Lathrop last week, but they started getting better. They started passing the ball; they were hitting the ball.

“I think we put more balls on the court (Tuesday) than we ever have, unfortunately it didn’t go the way we wanted to.”

Manteca was able to get leads in each of the five games, and found itself tied up 10-10 late in game five. East Union pulled away for good when Lexy Posz snuck a beautiful two-handed push into empty space giving the Lancers a 2-point lead they wouldn’t squander.

“They responded, but it was about time,” Bowers said. “It took us to get to the last game to really step up. You can’t have five girls off and one star on the court, it takes all six of us. Tonight we only had one girl on; we go five games, and to have those scores the way they were shouldn’t happen to us.

“I wanted to let them suffer through it and try to bounce back.”

Lamar’s six digs, five kills and game-high seven blocks led East Union, while teammate Taylor Maruca dished out 16 assists. Carmen Haro also chipped in with 10 digs, while Starla Beltran contributed six kills and four digs.

Tara Dadasovich turned in a game-high 38 assists, while Dallas Mould controlled the net with 10 kills and five blocks. Junior Jimi Guibor blasted home nine kills, while captain Abigail Rosas served four aces and pulled out 20 digs. Myklyn Balmut was phenomenal down the stretch for the Buffaloes, energizing Manteca throughout its final two games.

East Union will try and make it three straight when they host the Lathrop Spartans Thursday, while Manteca will try and build on its effort when they host Weston Ranch.

“I was very proud of our team,” Rosas said. “We have come a long way since the beginning of the season. Just to see us have that fire and coming out and playing that hard is a victory for us.”

East Union 2, Manteca 1
The Lancers fought back from a game two loss, to beat Manteca in the finale for a 25-10, 23-25, 15-12 VOL win Tuesday.

East Union got an inspired effort from Kayla Lamont, who led the club with a game-high nine aces and 19 assists in the win. Kianna Lamont blasted home 10 digs, while Gianna Gesler pulled out eight digs.