The Ripon volleyball team sure knows how to make it interesting.
After dropping the first two sets Wednesday night and trailing 15-9 in the third to host East Union, the Indians rode the hot hand of Mia Van Lewen and the pinpoint serving of Brooke Kaiser to come back and claim a thrilling 24-26, 25-27, 27-25, 25-20, 15-11 win at Dalben Center.
“They finally decided that they wanted to come out and play,” Ripon coach Taylor White said of her team’s third-set comeback. “They decided they wanted to end their three-game losing streak and their communication picked up. They are big on energy.
“Two of those losses were in five sets, so this was huge for us — especially since we start league Tuesday against Hilmar.”
Van Lewen racked up 15 aces and 17 digs with an ace and she hammered home the match-winning kill to cap a 4-0 run to end the last set.
“It is really nerve-racking to go up for that last point,” Van Lewen said. “But it is great that the team has confidence in me for that shot.”
Kaiser planted six aces to go along with 13 digs and 10 kills.
“Serving has always been my thing,” Kaiser said. “I have jump served ever since I can remember.”
Rachel Sausedo handed out 36 assists and made 11 digs for the Indians (3-3) and Deven Stokes had 17 digs.
The wind went out of the sails for the Lancers (3-3) late the third set, watching their 19-15 lead evaporate to 24-23 when they came up short on a rally. Sydney Thomason (four kills, three blocks, three aces) gave Ripon the 27-25 with a big block for the final point.
“The girls fought hard the first two games and got the wins,” East Union coach Chelsea Herrera said. “And they got up a lot of points in the third game and then they let up a bit along with some calls being made that we were not expecting. They turned out to be game changers and really affected our rhythm.
“At the end, Ripon was victorious because they kept fighting and they were aggressive and we had holes in our defense which we will definitely plug. I am pleased with our progress, and compared to last year they are playing more as a group and they gel together. They are a cohesive team.”
Savannah Lebarre hammered home a whopping 20 kills to go along with six aces for the Lancers. Lebarre got two of the Lancers’ final three points via kills in the first and second sets.
East Union’s Kiana Day had nine kills, two blocks, four aces and eight digs, and kept the Lancers alive in the first set when they were trailing at match point, 24-23. It appeared as if the Indians were going to take the set when Day chased down a ball and on the third hit reverse bumped into and over the net from the back row, tying the score at 24-24.
Miekayla Surnip had 13 kills and five aces for the East Union. Jaidyn Valencia had nine digs, three kills and three blocks and Alexus Surnip tallied 36 assists with four kills and three aces.
Manteca 3, Tokay 0
The Buffaloes (7-1) continued their roll heading into Valley Oak League play, sweeping visiting Tokay 25-15, 25-16, 25-14 on Wednesday.
Kaitlyn Morenzone accumulated 17 assists, 19 digs and 20 service points along with five kills. Kacy Bolding had seven kills, 13 assists and 12 digs. Payton Reis (nine kills, two blocks) and Kaylee MacDannald (five kills, four blocks) also made their presence felt at the net.
Freshman Abbey Kadillak racked up 36 digs, 10 service points and two aces. Olga Perez contributed 10 points.
Manteca hosts Bear Creek tonight before beginning VOL action next Tuesday against Oakdale.
Weston Ranch 3, Stagg 2
At Stagg, Weston Ranch (5-1) prevailed in a see-saw affair, 24-26, 25-14, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12.
Ashanti Boatman helped key the thrilling victory with her play at the net, finishing with three blocks.
“Stagg has a really good middle, and Ashanti did a great job at the net going toe-to-toe with her.”
Juliana Lassiter contributed with nine kills and three aces.
Ripon 2, East Union 0
Isabella Price has three aces, three digs and two kills for the Lancers in a 19-25, 22-25 loss.
Emma Valdez and Amalia Lopez had five digs each for East Union. Danielle James added three assists, Alejandra Rodriguez had two assists and a kill, Nicole Blair had two kills and Leilani Viloria added a block and a kill.
Manteca 2 Tokay 0
The Buffaloes (3-1) cruised to a 25-15, 25-14 win behind Sydney Navarro’s seven kills, six assists and seven service points.
Ari Chandlers chipped in eight assists and two kills. Kyaira Jacobs recorded 10 service points and five digs.
Ripon 2, East Union 0
Jenessa Godoy tallied three kills and two aces for the Lancers in a 11-25, 22-25 loss.
Elizabeth Lopez added five aces with Alyssa Clapp, Taylor Theiss and Catrina Keith each getting an ace.