There is something to be said for longevity.
Longtime friends Kacy Bolding and Kaitlyn Morenzone combined for 38 assists and 19 kills to lead the Manteca to a 22-25, 25-11, 25-17, 25-16 win over perennial powerhouse Oakdale at Winter Gym as the Buffaloes began their defense of the Valley Oak League championship on Tuesday.
Morenzone finished with 21 assists, eight kills, eight digs and 11 service points.
“Kacy and I have known each other since kindergarten,” Morenzone said. “And then we started playing together around sixth grade and that started the bond that we have.
“We always know where each other is on the court and where to set each other and when someone is feeling good about themselves to get them the ball so they can get hot.”
Bolding tallied 17 assists, 11 kills, five digs and 10 service points with two aces.
“Kaitlyn and I have great chemistry together,” Bolding said. “She knows where to put the ball for me and I know where to put the ball for her. It’s nice being able to play with someone that you have played with for so long.
“We started off a little slow tonight — our serve-receive wasn’t there, but the next game we focused on passing and serve-receive and got it done.”
After dropping the first set 22-25, the Buffaloes (1-0 VOL, 9-1 overall) came out with a vengeance in the second, never trailing and winning 25-11. Manteca last trailed in the second set at 2-1, winning 25-17 and was tied just once in the fourth set on the way to a game-ending 25-16 win, cemented with an emphatic kill by Kaylee MacDannald (eight kills, six service points, five blocks and four digs).
“After that first game I was thinking we needed to cut down on our errors and keep the ball in play,” Buffaloes coach Kevin Bolding said. “That and we needed to be relaxed, with this being the first league game and it was against Oakdale. Maybe our freshmen were a little unsure, but after the first game I think we relaxed and played well, cutting down errors a lot.”
Despite winning the first game, the Mustangs (0-1, 1-4) committed eight service errors. In the pivotal third game, three of the final four Manteca points were scored when Oakdale served long.
“Serve-receive is a huge part of the game and we have worked on that a lot,” Kevin Bolding said. “I think maybe putting in a little extra work paid off. They tried to help us a lot in that first game.”
The Kadillak sisters nailed three aces apiece with Abbey tallying 19 digs and 10 service points and Emma getting nine digs and eight service points. Olga Perez added 14 digs with 11 service points and an ace; Payton Reis had nine kills and three digs and Julia Moreno had six kills with five digs and a block.
Oakdale 2, Manteca 1
The Buffaloes fought back from a first-game loss to force a third but were edged 19-25, 25-22, 13-15.
Kim Yu led Manteca with 14 digs and 11 service points with four aces. Jezzica Liavore added eight digs, Jaelyn Negranza had six digs. Kyaira Jacobs tallied six kills and three digs and Katelyn Gross had two digs.
Manteca 2, Oakdale 1
The Buffaloes dropped the first set before eking out wins in the next two, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12.
Leilani Rios had eight kills and a block for Manteca. Ayana Banstaveern chipped in 14 assists with six service points and two kills; Caitlyn Wong had 10 service points with three aces, three kills and two digs and Alyson Schneider posted six kills and four digs.