Indians can't remake a classic

DAVIS -- The last time the Ripon and Christian Brothers high school volleyball teams met, it was a classic match.

They went five games Sept. 5, with the Falcons serving the final five points to win a thriller.

The two teams met again Thursday night, and the stakes were much higher: It was the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championship.

But the second classic match never surfaced. Instead, Christian Brothers controlled the net -- and the match -- in a 25-18, 25-16, 25-16 victory over the Indians at UC Davis.

Ripon's season will continue.

As the section runner-up, the Indians qualified to play in the CIF Northern California Regional Division IV playoffs. The state brackets will be released Sunday at

The Indians fell behind early and never caught up.

"After the last time we played, we expected another five-game match," said Ripon senior Kirsten Duren, who led her team with 12 kills. "But this was just a bad match for us."

It was the fourth consecutive section title for Christian Brothers, and its third consecutive victory over Ripon in the finals.

"We came out flat and never really got going," Ripon coach Larry Keethe said. "It's definitely a mental thing.

"Christian Brothers didn't show us anything we weren't expecting. We just didn't play well."

Now, the Indians have to regroup before NorCals next week.

"We haven't played this poorly in a long time," Duren said. "And now we have to travel a long way."

As the section runner-up, the Indians will play their first NorCal match on the road, at a champion of one of the other NorCal sections: the Central Coast, North Coast or Northern Section. Keethe said his team is going to have to play much better to have a chance in any of its remaining matches. Duren agreed.

"We're going to work our butts off in practice and get ready for Tuesday," Duren said. "That's all you can do; put this behind us."

Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at or 578-2300.