MODESTO — East Union and Manteca are back in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Both clinched their berths with wins Thursday night, and the Valley Oak League season ends next Tuesday. East Union punched its ticket with a sweep (25-17, 28-26, 25-21) at Central Catholic, the VOL’s runner-up a year ago. The Lancers (8-5 VOL, 16-8 overall) own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Raiders (7-6, 12-12).
“It is exciting to see the program making the next steps and get back to playoffs,” said Rich Posz, East Union’s fourth-year head coach. “The girls have worked hard for this.”
They had to work for Thursday’s win.
After closing out the first set in which East Union led 14-4 at one point, it carried the momentum into the second and built leads of 10-2 and 17-7. Central Catholic responded with 11 straight points to take the lead and appeared to be on its way to stealing the game while up 24-22. Strong serving by Amy Gann helped the Lancers prevail.
Alissa Burrola later closed the match with back-to-back service aces to finish with four. Vanessa Cuellar spearheaded a balanced attack with eight kills. Haley England and Melissa King (15 assists) each slapped down seven kills.
East Union caps regular season play at Sierra.
Manteca 3, Lathrop 0
LATHROP — Manteca’s four seniors came up big in key moments of the team’s 25-21, 25-12, 25-9 sweep.
Lathrop (1-12, 4-14) threatened to take Game 1 while leading 18-16. That was when senior Jasmine Basuil entered the match to help solidify the back row and get the offense moving. Melissa Hansen served out the final seven points, a run that included three aces.
Taylor Bays (four digs) served 13 consecutive points in the one-sided third set. Morgan Miramontes exploded for seven kills during that streak and finished with 12 to lead Manteca (10-3, 14-8), which also clinched second place in the VOL. Kaitlyn Morenzone dished out 17 assists, Tawny Deerinck recorded eight digs and Alison Hoyer hit four kills.
Weston Ranch 0
STOCKTON — Oakdale (13-0, 20-10) continued its march toward an undefeated run through the VOL with a 25-19, 25-13, 25-23 sweep.
Weston Ranch (5-8, 10-13) was paced by Jennifer Viguerias’ six kills, 12 digs and 18 assists. Amaya Finley contributed five kills, and Elysia Garcia Hernandez had nine digs.
Ripon 3, Riverbank 0
RIVERBANK — Breanna Barrios crushed 11 kills, while Hailey Monroe added nine as the Indians (8-3 TVL) cruised to a 25-9, 25-11, 25-19 win on Wednesday.
Stephanie Petlansky accumulated 16 assists and five aces. Ashlyn Eisenga led the team in digs with 21.
Ripon 2, Riverbank 0
RIVERBANK — Ripon rolled 25-17, 25-9 behind Katie Kaiser’s eight kills, Taylor Werner’s 16 assists and Katie Willey’s five aces.