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Manteca escapes Ripon Christian with dominant fifth set
Manteca Highs Destanie Elliott sends the ball over to Ripon Christians Lyndsey Van Groningen during Thrusdays varsity game as Ripon Christian hosted the Buffaloes. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

RIPON – Manteca’s Sarah Inderbitzin got a block to steal the serve in the fifth set and then reeled off the final eight service points to help the Buffaloes escape the Ripon Christian with a thrilling 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 22-25, 15-4 win over the Knights in non-league volleyball action. 

Paige Vos (two blocks) had just got one of her team-leading 15 kills to bring Ripon Christian (5-3) within 6-4 in the final set when Inderbitzin stuffed a block for a7-4 Manteca lead, and then she took the service line and did not leave it the rest of the game. 

“I was nervous because I had to keep them consistent,” Inderbitzin said of her serves. “I was just trying to place them the best I could and not hit super hard but just place it to where we could get the point.”

Manteca (2-0) was a three kills shy of having four players with double-digit kills: Rhiannon Genilla (11 digs, block) with 15 kills, Payton Reis (three aces) with 11, Destanie Elliott (three blocks) with nine and Kaitlyn Morenzone (19 digs, 18 assists, three blocks, ace) with eight.  

“I was trying to take advantage of their open spots and to place my hits,” Genilla said. 

Inderbitzin had 22 service points in all with two blocks and two aces. Teammate Tawny Deerinck added 17 digs.

“It was a good game,” Buffaloes coach Kevin Bolding said. “We battled back in that last game but they didn’t quit either, even after we got up 2-0 on them. 

“I thought it was a good job on both sides. We started out really good, kind of went down a little bit but we came back, stuck with it and got it done. Not bad for a non-league game.”

Ripon Christian has libero Bethany Silveira to thank for taking it to five sets. With the Knights leading 24-22 in the fourth set, Manteca made it look like it was about to be a one-point game with a hard shot headed to the Ripon Christian back line. 

Silveira (three aces, kill) came out of nowhere for a highlight-reel dig – one of her team-leading 14 – that snuck just over the net out of the reach of an Buffaloes player, forcing the decisive game. 

“She got into middle back in the third set,” Knights coach Jocelyn Benziger said of Silveira. “She was able to open herself up to seeing where they were swinging and she was able to get her hands on the ball.”

Carly Eastham (ace, block) had eight kills for Ripon Christian and Makenzie Miller (two aces, two blocks) had five. Elizabeth Weststeyn added 15 assists, a block and a kill, Emily Manes 10 digs and three aces, Lyndsey Van Groningen four blocks and two kills and Taylor Anema two blocks. 

“It was a total team effort,” Benziger said. “I think that coming back down from 0-2 says a lot about their potential, character and a lot about where they are going despite the fact that it was a loss. They are learning what it means to not give in and learning to trust that when an adjustment is made it is in the benefit of the game and we move forward. I think they have some fire in them — it is definitely exciting to see.” 



Ripon Christian 2, Manteca 1

Despite having seven freshmen on a squad of 13, the Knights battled back for a three-set 25-17, 18-25, 15-9 victory. 

Gianna Smith had great net play for Ripon Christian and teammate Rachel Bakker had consistent serving. 

Emma Kadillak set well for the Buffaloes with teammates Sam Cerritos and Abigail Arias coming off the bench to contribute as outside hitters. 



Ripon Christian 2, Manteca 0

Ariel Vander Woude had an eight-point service run in the first set for the Knights and a five-point run in the second. 

Morgan Van Elderen had three service points in the first game as well as stellar outside hitting and setting. Teammates Alexis Hilvers played good defense in the middle and Sarah Brown had good libero defensive play.