MODESTO — There is still plenty of time for the rest of the Western Athletic Conference to catch Lathrop, but for now the Spartans can enjoy their view from the top of the standings.
They’re alone in first after dispatching Grace Davis 25-22, 25-23, 25-23 in their most competitive match against a league opponent so far. Reigning WAC champion Beyer, swept by Lathrop (4-0, 5-2 overall) last week, gutted out a five-game win over Mountain House to create the separation at the top.
Jahsita Fa’all’i led the charge with 19 kills and 19 digs. Jennifer Santillan contributed 29 assists, three aces and seven digs. Sydney Hanks and Ke’Mya Barnett (four digs, ace) pounded six and five kills, respectively. Hailey Hunter racked up 13 digs and two aces.
Lathrop begins a stretch of three straight home appearances starting Thursday against Johansen.
Central Catholic 3, Manteca 0
MODESTO — McKenzie Lettice amassed 45 assists, while Abby and Hannah Castillon spiked 18 and 10 kills, respectively, to help the Valley Oak League’s defending champion roll to a 25-15, 25-22, 25-22.
Coach Kevin Bolding described the play of his Buffaloes (2-1, 6-2 overall) as “timid,” particularly at the start when they quickly sank to an 8-0 deficit.
“We were taking half swings and gave up a lot of free balls,” Bolding said. “We’d put them over and they came back faster. They’re at the top, and there’s a reason why.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Manteca, which heads to upper-division juggernaut Tracy on Thursday for a non-league showdown.
Ripon Christian 3, Mariposa 0
MARIPOSA — Tougher tests are ahead for Ripon Christian (3-0, 8-3) after its 25-11, 25-15, 25-10 Southern League sweep.
The Knights play host to Le Grand on Thursday in a first-place battle, then head next door to Ripon on Friday for a non-league rivalry tilt.
Emily Van Groningen torched Mariposa for 11 kills, while Morgan Van Elderen drilled eight to go with 13 assists.
Natasha Smith added six kills, Lauren Braga had four aces and Ariel Vander Woude rung up 18 assists and four kills.
Ripon Christian 2, Mariposa 0
MARIPOSA — Ripon Christian came through for the 25-18, 25-19 road sweep.
Jenna Hofman anchored the offense with 11 assists. Kendall Pounders contributed four kills and two blocks. Avery McMurray tallied five aces and five digs.
Lathrop 2, Grace Davis 1
MODESTO — First-place Lathrop took care of business 25-6, 19-25, 15-4 after a slip-up in the second set.
Lylliana Avila helped keep the Spartans (4-0 WAC) ahead with her seven kills and seven digs. Thracylie Acoba collected 10 digs, while Camila De La Garza churned out 18 assists and two aces.
Lathrop 2, Grace Davis 0
MODESTO — Azul Maldanado served up seven aces to go with four digs, helping Lathrop (4-0 WAC, 7-0 overall) prevail, 25-18, 25-10.
Alaba Olaleye fired six kills, and Alejandra Vazquez had six assists.