Lathrop uses bal­anced at­tack to knock off We­ston Ranch

Ripon Bulletin - - Sports - Bul­letin staff re­ports

LATHROP — Ex­pec­ta­tions have changed for Lathrop un­der sec­ondyear head coach Heather An­der­son.

“It’s weird to have ex­pec­ta­tions at all,” she said.

These aren’t the Spar­tans of old. They’re in third place with an­other match to go in the first half of Val­ley Oak League play after wax­ing rival We­ston Ranch 25-18, 25-12, 25-18 on Wed­nes­day. Lathrop (4-2, 5-5 over­all) is al­ready a win away from match­ing the pro­gram’s best win to­tal in league, set last year, and An­der­son said it’s a prod­uct of her play­ers’ hard work. A top-three fin­ish in league would guar­an­tee the Spar­tans a first-ever post­sea­son ap­pear­ance.

“It has been a grind,” An­der­son said, adding that her play­ers meet for prac­tice Mon­day morn­ings be­fore school and take ex­tra time to re­view film. “We’re fi­nally start­ing to see some of the pay­off. We’re try­ing to over­come that rep­u­ta­tion (of los­ing). We’re not happy with moral vic­to­ries any­more.”

An­der­son said the lat­est vic­tory was a “shared ef­fort,” with nine dif­fer­ent play­ers con­tribut­ing a kill. Sopho­more Jah­sita Fa’alii and Avleen Kaur led the way with eight kills apiece, while

Ju­liana Den­ning and Myani Thorn­ton each spiked five. Jose­lyn Hur­tado an­chored the de­fense with 11 digs, set­ter Ka­rina Chavez con­trib­uted seven to go with 30 as­sists and Jar­jass Kaur picked up five digs.

It gets tougher for the Spar­tans, who head to Oak­dale next Mon­day to face the reign­ing VOL cham­pion.

We­ston Ranch, led by Amaya Fin­ley’s eight kills and Nayeli Moreno’s 12 as­sists, will host Kim­ball.

Sopho­more Lathrop 2, We­ston Ranch 0 LATHROP — Ni­cole Vas­con­ce­los led the at­tack from the set­ter po­si­tion, while Hai­ley Hunter pro­vided solid back-row play to pro­pel Lathrop to its first league win, 25-20, 25-11.

Fresh­man Lathrop 2, We­ston Ranch 1 LATHROP — The Spar­tans notched their first VOL vic­tory with a nail­bit­ing 25-20, 25-27, 15-8 win.

Ke’Mya Bar­nett recorded six kills and four aces. Crispa Balles­teros dished out 10 as­sists and served four aces. Ericka Men­chaca racked up six aces and two kills. De­siree Am­bat­ali con­trib­uted 10 digs and two kills.

Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

Har­jass Kaur makes the pass as Lathrop team­mate Jose­lyn Hur­tado looks on dur­ing the Spar­tans’ Val­ley Oak League match against vis­it­ing rival We­ston Ranch on Wed­nes­day.

Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

Lathrop mid­dle Ju­liana Den­ning is un­chal­lenged as she spikes it over the net against We­ston Ranch.

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