EL DORADO — Ripon coach Taylor White had little information on Union Mine, and she was concerned her team would be sluggish out the gate in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV quarterfinal on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Indians proved to be up to the task from the start, and they made the long trip worth it with a 25-17, 25-27, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12 victory that secures them a spot in the semifinals and CIF Northern California Regionals.
“We went in completely blind,” White said. “The concern was there, but they showed me they were ready to go in the opening set.”
The lead changed hands throughout the match until the final set. The Sierra Valley Conference champion Diamondbacks (17-10), seeded fourth, was ahead 5-3 in Game 5 before Brooke Kaiser went on a service run that helped Ripon (22-11) finish it out.
Mia Van Lewen amassed 20 kills and 19 digs. Kaiser contributed 12 kills, and Sydney Thomason finished with 10 along with six blocks. White praised the play of the front row — including Alyssa Barrios (five kills, six blocks) and Caryssa McKeon (six kills) — but White said setters Rachel Sausedo (37 assists, 12 digs) and Shannon Johnson (16 assists) keyed the victory.
“My setters were fantastic tonight,” White said. “They moved the ball beautifully and kept the other team’s block confused. Everyone did amazing; the front row really shut down their hitters and the back row lined up perfectly.”
Deven Stokes led the defense with 27 digs.
Ripon looks forward to getting another crack at Trans-Valley League rival Hilmar (30-12), the defending champion of the division at No. 1 seed.
“We were super excited to have the potential of seeing Hilmar again,” White said. “The girls are really motivated.”
Vanden 3, Manteca 0
FAIRFIELD — The No. 7 Buffaloes (21-7) followed their best performance of the season with one of their worst, stumbling to a 7-25, 14-25, 12-25 defeat against No. 2 Vanden (22-3).
“I know it’s a long drive and everything, but we still have to play,” Manteca coach Kevin Bolding said. “They’re a good team and came ready. Honestly, they overpowered us and we didn’t match up well with them. No excuses, they were just better.”
It marked the end of the four-year varsity careers for Kacy Bolding (six kills, seven assists, six digs), Kaitlyn Morenzone (three kills, eight assists, nine points, six digs) and Payton Reis (three kills, two digs). Freshman libery Abbey Kadillak contributed 12 digs.