Manteca junior setters Kaitlyn Morenzone and Kacy Bolding were recognized with the Valley Oak League’s top awards after leading the Buffaloes to their most successful season in more than two decades.
Morenzone was voted Most Valuable Player, while Bolding was named Most Outstanding. Head coach Kevin Bolding wanted to put them both up as co-MVPs and doesn’t see the difference between the awards.
“It’s just a name they give for those awards,” Bolding said. “I don’t care what the name is, they got what they deserved and that’s what matters. They both put in a ton of work and had a great year.”
Morenzone and Bolding, who each been selected to all-league first-team once in previous years, exemplified the versatility and well-rounded play of Manteca, which went 13-1 for the VOL championship — the Buffaloes’ first since 1991.
Manteca (24-10 overall) lost its final two matches of the season on the road, first to Sonora in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals, then to Liberty of Madera Ranchos in the CIF Northern California Division IV Regional Championships opening round. It marked the first time since 2002 that the Buffs reached the section semifinals, and the NorCal berth was the program’s first in 27 years.
“We definitely went how they went because everything ran through them,” Bolding said of his productive setters. “I can’t say enough about them, other than I’m glad to have them for another year.”
Senior outside hitter Rhiannon Genilla joined her fellow Buffaloes on the All-VOL first team. Outside hitter Payton Reis was selected to the second team, and sophomore middle hitter earned honorable mention.
Lathrop sophomore Jahsita Fa’alii was is also an All-VOL first-team selection. She played a key part in the Spartans’ fourth-place finish in league (9-5, 13-9 overall). Lathrop was in contention for its first SJS postseason berth in the final week of the season and leaves the VOL for the Western Athletic Conference after upsetting runner-up Oakdale.
Weston Ranch standout outside hitter Amaya Finley made the first-team list for the third straight year. She’s heading to Iowa Central College.
Lathrop has two all-league second-team selections in middle blocker Julianna Denning and setter Karina Chavez. Joining them are East Union freshman Savannah LeBarre and Sierra middle blocker Lindsey Walljasper.
Earning honorable mention are East Union’s Kianna Day, Lathrop’s JArjass Kaur, Sierra’s Hailey Steele and Weston Ranch’s Senecia Patton.