RIPON — Down by two at game point in the third set, Alyssa Barrios and Brooke Kaiser scored four points in a row for top-seeded Ripon to ensure a 25-21, 25-16, 26-24 sweep of No. 17 Bret Harte of Angels Camp in opening-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV volleyball playoffs.
Trailing 24-22 in the third game, Barrios (six-kills, two aces, block) hammered back-to-back kills to tie the game at 24-24.
“Things were a little frantic at the end,” Barrios said. “I knew we had to push through and I had to do it for the team.”
Kaiser (14 kills, 14 digs, ace) took it home, blasting a kill and a block to end the night.
Speaking of her and Barrios, Kaiser said, “We look at each other and tell ourselves that we are going to get it done. And then when we get the kill and sideout it helps us get the momentum on our side.”
The Indians (19-5) led start to finish in the second set when Caryssa McKeon (14 digs, three aces) got four of his nine kills. McKeon had a perfect night from the field with no errors.
“This being the first game of the playoffs we could get knocked out at any moment,” McKeon said. “So we had to come out and play hard.
“I had the mindset that it was an all-or-nothing type deal.”
The Bullfrogs (12-16) fought valiantly early with 15-15 being the 11th tie in the first set. It was tied again at 21-21 when Barrios and Kaiser got two of the final four points and the Indians would not trail again until the third game.
“I think we really rallied,” Ripon coach Tyler White said. “We were missing a key component in the middle — Sydney Thomason — who is out with the flu, so Claire (Dekruyf) filled that spot and they all rallied together. They had a lot of energy and a lot of fun and they knew they had everything to lose.
“It’s only going to get harder from here; the challenges are going to keep rising so I told them that the mistakes and unforced errors can’t happen on Thursday.”
Shannon Johnson added 15 assists and 14 digs for the Indians.
The Indians host No. 9 El Dorado of Placerville in a quarterfinal contest Thursday at 7 p.m.