Stone Ridge Chris­tian sweeps To­ma­les in 1st round

Merced Sun-Star - - Sports - BY SHAWN JANSEN sjansen@mer­ced­sun­ Shawn Jansen: 209-385-2462, @MSSs­ports

Brooke Ware­ham might have to ice her right arm af­ter serv­ing up eight aces on Tues­day night to help lead the Stone Ridge Chris­tian girls vol­ley­ball team to a 3-0 sweep over No. 8 seed To­ma­les in the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Re­gional Divi­sion VI play­offs.

Ware­ham opened up serv­ing in the sec­ond game against the Braves and didn’t stop un­til the Knights took a 19-0 lead.

“It’s def­i­nitely ex­cit­ing when we get on a run like that,” Ware­ham said.

The top-seeded Knights (29-6) barely broke a sweat against an over­matched Braves team. To­ma­les came in with a 5-13 record.

The Braves had trou­ble against the Sac-Joaquin Sec­tion cham­pi­ons.

“Our girls are ex­cited to play. We were ready,” said SRC coach Ken Shaw.

Shaw said the team was ex­hausted af­ter win­ning the pro­gram’s first sec­tion ti­tle on Satur­day with a gru­el­ing 3-1 win over For­est Lake Chris­tian.

“Half of the girls slept all the way home,” Shaw said. “It was such a build up to the cham­pi­onship. I don’t think many of them got much sleep last week. Their first good sleep was on Satur­day night.”

The Knight have had three days to re­group and pre­pare them­selves for a run at a NorCal cham­pi­onship.

Maartje Van­der Dussen, who played bril­liantly in the the cham­pi­onship game with 24 kills and 30 digs, help lead the way against the Braves with eight kills and 11 digs. Sasha Still­man added eight kills too.

Syd­ney Shaw fin­ished with 15 as­sists and Laura Hooker picked up 11 digs.

The Knights will be back in ac­tion on Satur­day in the semi­fi­nals against No. 4 seed Red­ding Chris­tian, which dis­patched of No. 5 Cal­is­toga 25-7, 25-10, 25-15. Stone Ridge will host Red­ding Chris­tian at 6 p.m.

“We know so many of the teams in our sec­tion,” Ken Shaw said. “We’re re­search­ing and re­search­ing to find any in­for­ma­tion on the teams in NorCals.”

The Knights have the com­fort of know­ing the rest of their matches this year will be at home.

“It def­i­nitely feels good know we’re play­ing at home the rest of the way,” Ware­ham said.

“He know our sur­round­ings and we’re used to it here. It’s a big ad­van­tage for us.”

Maartje Van­der Dussen

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