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‘Sluggish’ Indians win pivotal 2nd set to stave off Berean Christian
Bulletin volleyball 2018
Ripon outside hitter Jordynn Russell slugs a spike past Berean Christian’s Gabbi Guerrero (12) and Katelyn Gould (10) in their CIF Northern California Division V Regional Championships opener on Tuesday. - photo by GARY JENSEN/

RIPON — Ripon High is a team that occasionally needs that spark.
"We came out slower than I'd like to see. Maybe even a bit sluggish," said Indians coach Tyler White during Tuesday's CIF Northern California Regional Championships Division V opener against Berean Christian of Walnut Creek.
Ripon (23-11) battled through the better of two games, coming ahead both times while eventually playing its brand of volleyball in the third game.
"We finally played and had some fun," White said, as her team swept the Eagles, 25-21, 25-23, 25-18.
Senior setter Rachel Sausedo paced the attack with 27 assists, 10 digs, two kills and two blocks.
She noted the second game was the tipping scale, especially during the late goings.
The No. 4-seeded Indians were down 20-18 before reeling off six unanswered points. Mia Van Lewen had two of her 12 kills down the stretch, and Sydney Thomason and Alyssa Barrios both scored on spikes during that 7-1 rally.
No. 13 Berean Christian (17-14) of the North Coast Section kept it close in Game 2 thanks to the front-line play of outside hitter Elizabeth Dutton.
The game also featured 11 ties and six lead changes. Russell and Sausedo broke the 23-23 tie by picking up the final two points.
"We became more energized," Sausedo said. "It helped winning that second game because, as a team, we played more relaxed from there."
The Eagles did come back to tie things up at 12-12. But the Indians, behind the serving of Sausedo and Russell, began to slowly pull away. Thomason had a big block along the way while Van Lewen, who also had 13 digs, chipped in with another kill.
Deven Stokes, in addition, finished with 10 digs in the match while Shannon Johnson helped out with 11 assists and Thomason tallied 10 kills.
"As a senior, it's great getting this far (in the NorCals)," said Saucedo of the Indians, who reached the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section V playoffs where they lost to Trans-Valley League rival Hilmar in three. Hilmar is the top seed in Division IV.
Ripon next hosts No. 12 Western Sierra Collegiate Academy (20-6) in the second round Thursday. The Wolves of Rocklin upset fifth-seeded Quincy (26-5) in four games — 19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-16.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail