SAN JOSE — Ripon Christian’s second-year boys volleyball team ended its historic campaign with losses to well-established programs.
The Knights made their debut in the CIF Northern California Championships on Tuesday, falling to third-seeded Valley Christian 20-25, 25-21, 10-25, 24-26.
Seeded sixth for the Division III NorCal tournament, Ripon Christian (20-4) also lost a competitive four-round match to Bear River in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III final this past Saturday.
“We felt like we represented the south part of our section well,” Ripon Christian coach Kevin Tameling said. “I’m looking forward to boys volleyball growing and improving in our area.”
Six-foot-8 standout Cade Alger paced the Knights with 14 kills, 10 digs and three blocks. They also got nine kill, four blocks and seven digs from Braden Van Groningen. Jacob Van Groningen contributed eight kills and three blocks.
Michael Kamps added 12 assists, while Lukas Van Groningen had six assists to go with five kills.
The host Warriors (23-16) jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening set and were able to deal with RC’s considerable height advantage.
“We struggled in the beginning, probably due to the travel and a little bit of the nerves,” Tameling said. “They were just a very good defensive team that picked a lot of balls up. They pass well on service receive and ran a fast offense. We weren’t used to that in some ways.”
Ripon Christian was able to tie the score late in the first set and carried that momentum into the second.
Valley Christian rolled in Game 3.
“We got stuck in a rotation we couldn’t get out of,” Tameling said.
The Knights went toe-to-toe with the Central Coast Section’s Division II runner-up in the fourth game. Valley Christian had to work for its first-round win, getting the clinching point after a long rally. The Warriors head to No. 2 Elk Grove (22-7) for the semifinals Thursday.
“It says a lot about the character of our guys,” Tameling said.