The Prowl

The Student News Site of Weston Ranch High School

The Prowl

The Prowl

Boys Volleyball Faces Manteca Tonight in Round 1 of Section Playoffs

Weston Ranch boys volleyball plays Manteca HS in the 2023 DII CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs tonight at Weston Ranch. Tonight’s game against the Buffaloes pits two evenly matched clubs and should be an exciting evening of boys’ volleyball. 

“It should be a great game,” said Abraham Palacios. “We’re ready to go, and it will be a great game against Manteca. The nerves will be high before we take the court, but we will forget them once we get going and play our game.”

Tonight’s contest will be the second meeting between these schools. Weston Ranch bested Manteca 3-1 back on March 6. However, it was early in the season, and much has transpired since that meeting. Both teams went on to dominate their respective leagues, and both schools still have a rivalry that has carried over after Weston Ranch left for the SJAA. Emotions should be at a maximum with so much on the line.

“We played Manteca High earlier in the preseason, and both teams have come a long way since that game,” said head coach Rebecca Kinlaw. “We both have improved tremendously. I am excited to compete against another high school in our district and one of the teams we used to compete against in the Valley Oak League.”

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Weston Ranch finished 21-4 overall and a perfect 12-0 in the SJAA to claim its first championship in the new league. On its way to the undefeated season in the SJAA, Weston Ranch won 36 sets and lost only six. They also collected seven 3-0 match sweeps. The impressive run helped the Cougars earn a #16 ranking for the Sac-Joaquin Section. 

Manteca (20-8) rattled off six straight wins to capture first place in the Vally Oak League with a 9-1 record. During the win streak, the Buffaloes were a perfect 18-0 in sets played and have not lost since being shut out 3-0 by Lathrop on April 11. Manteca finished the season with a #24 ranking in the Sac-Joaquin Section. 

The Cougars will look to junior Abraham Palacios (272 kills, 43 blocks, 291 digs), Eleazar Nava (615 assists), Diego Montes (452 digs), and Tommy Duong (151 digs and 90% serving rate) to help keep the Buffaloes off balance. 

SR. Camden Steckler leads the Buffaloes and will look to give the Cougars problems on offense and defense. Steckler led Manteca with 291 kills, 42 assists, 216 digs, and blocks with 38. JR. Manny Ramirez had 195 digs and a 94% serving rate. JR. Julio Mateo added 166 digs to the Buffalo attack, and JR. Garrison Reis supported with 181 digs. 

“Steckler is someone we will have to worry about,” Palacios said. “We will need to keep track of where he is on the court at all times. He’s a good player and drives their attacks.”

Tonight’s game is a tough opening-round matchup for both teams. Although the Cougars already have one win against the Buffaloes, Weston Ranch must play perfectly to outlast Manteca. It should be an emotional contest, and neither team can afford to make many mistakes. However, Kinlaw has seen her team’s progress this year and knows they will fight from the first serve to the last.

“I’m excited that our team made the playoffs and for them to have the opportunity to play tonight,” Kinlaw said. “I’m proud of how well the team has played this season. They have been working really hard in practice and are focused and ready to compete. This group of guys are close and are friends with each other, on and off the court. They genuinely love to compete, so I am just excited that they get the opportunity to continue playing with each other tonight.”

The first serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tonight’s victor will advance to the second round and play on May 4 against the Woodcreek HS and Grant winner. 


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Boys Volleyball Faces Manteca Tonight in Round 1 of Section Playoffs