As the top team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championships, Ripon Christian wasn't about to take Vacaville Christian lightly on Thursday.
"We knew they were a very good team — they're much better than a No. 9-seed team," said Knights coach Kevin Tameling of the visiting Falcons from the Sierra Valley Conference.
Ripon Christian (19-2) took the second-round match in three sets, 25-16, 25-12, 26-24.
"(Vacaville Christian) played more like the team that we expected to see in that third game," Tameling said.
The Falcons (15-12) jumped out to a 9-2 start in that third game while battling for their playoff survival.
The Knights came back to tie things up at 20-20 and even fought back from Vacaville Christian's 24-23 set-point advantage.
"We clawed all the way back," Tameling added.
Cade Alger led the way with 12 kills and eight digs while sophomore middle blocker Braden Van Groningen came up with two blocks, seven kills, 12 digs and two serving aces.
Jacob Van Groningen also had a strong all-around game with 11 kills, four blocks, and eight digs.
In addition, senior setter Michael Kamps finished with 11 assists and three kills and sophomore outside hitter Lukas Van Groningen chipped in with two blocks, three kills, and 13 assists.
Tameling also praised Ryan Dotinga, who delivered on three service aces.
Next up for Ripon Christian is West Campus of Sacramento at home on Tuesday.
West Campus 3, Weston Ranch 1
The season for the No. 4 Cougars (13-4) came to halt Thursday on their home floor. They lost to West Campus of Sacramento in four sets, 25-14, 23-25, 25-21, 25-7.
Setter Mailo Bayot led Weston Ranch with 20 assists, eight digs and three kills. Senior outside hitter Lawrence Williams finished with seven kills for the Cougars. Middle blocker Armando Mendoza chipped in with six kills and four blocks.
Vista del Lago 3, Lathrop 0
The Spartans (27-4), the No. 7-seeded team in Division III, saw their season derailed in Folsom, falling to the host Eagles in three games, 25-9, 25-15, 25-16.
No. 2 Vista del Lago (24-2) will host either No. 3 Placer or No. 6 El Camino on Tuesday.