Execution is a must for Ripon volleyball

The first time the Christian Brothers and Ripon High volleyball teams met, it was a five-game classic that went the Falcons' way.

The second time they met this season -- in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship match -- it was complete domination, a three-game sweep by Christian Brothers.

The Indians are hoping that the third time is the charm when they meet again in tonight's CIF Northern California Division IV championship at Christian brothers High School. The first serve is at 7 p.m.

Ripon coach Larry Keethe said the teams are pretty familiar with each other. They've met in three consecutive section championship matches.

"We have to execute," Keethe said. "Both of these teams play excellent defense and excellent offense. They've got a very experienced coach in Jeff Deter. You just have to outplay them."

Since the Indians were swept by Christian Brothers for the section title on Nov. 20, they've played some of their best volleyball of the season.

In the first round, Ripon took a little over an hour to dispatch No. 4 seed Sutter in three games. Then, in Saturday's semifinals, the Indians beat top-seeded Menlo in a five-game thriller.

Ripon got contributions from several players in the NorCal wins. Jenna Dunkel had 27 kills and Ashley Robinson had 27 kills and 14 blocks. Libero Meredith Perkins was all over the court with 68 digs and six aces.

"The girls are all playing well," Keethe said.

So which Indians team will show up at Christian Brothers tonight?

"The section final, that was pretty much the worst match we've played all year," Keethe said. "But the girls regrouped and said, 'Let's get back and play Christian Brothers again.' "

And now, they have their wish.

"If we keep it up, this should be another good match," Keethe said. "This could be one of those matches like Menlo where every match goes into the 20s and it goes five games."

DIRECTIONS -- Take Highway 99 north into Sacramento. Take the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard exit toward Fruitridge Road. Merge onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The school is at 4315 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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