Kevin Bolding's message to his Manteca High girls volleyball squad is to not be afraid to make mistakes.
"Don't be afraid to make plays," said the Buffaloes coach on Thursday following a hard-fought Valley Oak League match against Oakdale at Winter Gym.
"We're still a young team," he added.
More on that.
Manteca (5-2 VOL, 9-4 overall) needed five games to finally prevail, 25-23, 25-18, 16-25, 17-25, 15-11.It’s the Buffaloes’ second five-game win over the Mustangs (3-4, 8-6), completing a crucial season sweep that puts them in a good spot for one of three postseason berths in the VOL.
"We needed to play defense while keeping the ball in play," said Bolding on his team having to play that decisive fifth game.
The Buffaloes won the first two games of the best-of-five only to see the Mustangs storm back by taking the next two.
Outside hitter Camrenne Genilla, meanwhile, is one of a handful of sophomores for Manteca — the others are Abbey Kadillak, Karlie Spohn, Adrianna Powell and Alyson Schneider. She racked up three of her nine kills for the match in the fifth game.
But with her team nursing a slight lead, Genilla delivered a shot that sailed out of bound, giving up a point to Oakdale.
She then responded to words from her coach by converting a pair of spikes. Couple that with the Mustangs coming up with the unforced errors during crucial times.
Genilla's final kill turned out to be the game winner.
"It's all about the bounce back," she said. "We came together as a team."
Having previously played Oakdale not too long ago, the Buffaloes knew that this rematch would be a tough battle.
The opening game was indicative of that as it featured 14 ties and seven lead changes.
The Mustangs behind middle blocker Kenadie Patterson, outside hitter Emma Harper and libero Kailee Whorton momentarily forged ahead, 23-21.
Manteca tied it at 23-23 and then clinched it when Spohn stuffed the return home for the point.
The Buffaloes fell behind early in second game, rallying at the midway point behind the serving of Julia Moreno, who delivered a pair of aces, and a block and kill by Spohn, who tallied 13 kills and five blocks in the match.
Manteca went from trailing 14-11 to taking a 23-17 lead. Genilla registered a pair of kills while Oakdale helped out by serving one into the net.
The Mustangs led from start to finish in the next two games, setting up the winner-take-all fifth game.
Senior Kaylee MacDannald had five blocks, junior Therese Ferral came through with 43 assists, and Kadillak had 20 digs for the Buffaloes.
Bolding was quick to praise Oakdale.
"That's a solid program," he said.
Manteca 2, Oakdale 0
Fresh off capturing the 12th annual Stockton Classic crown, the Buffaloes (7-0, 17-0) swept the Mustangs in two tough games, winning 25-20, 25-23.
Leilani Rios came up big in the second game, nailing four service aces.
Prior to that, her team was down, 14-13.
Aryana Van Staaveran finished with 10 digs and Arielle Chandler chipped in two eight assists.
"Our back row was awesome," said Manteca coach Mike Morenzone.
Oakdale 2, Manteca 1
Jessica Almeida had 18 assists and two kills while Jill Santos finished with seven digs and three kills in the Buffaloes' loss to the Mustangs.
Manteca fell in three tough games, 24-26, 25-22, 11-15.
In addition, Payton Mahoney chipped in with six kills and two blocks for the Buffaloes.
Teammate Katiela Rodriguez tallied eight digs.