HILMAR -- Lindsey Mendes came close to trading in her knee pads for golf clubs this year.
It took some coaxing from her teammates to get her back on the volleyball court.
She looked happy with her decision Thursday night.
The junior libero dove all over the court on her way to 24 digs to lead No. 7 Hilmar to a 25-22, 25-15, 25-20 win over No. 15 Orestimba in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
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"I loved the game but I didn't know if I wanted to play," Mendes said. "Then it got to me and I had to play.
"I'm glad. It was a great decision."
Mendes has been the backbone of the defense that has helped Hilmar compile a 29-3 record.
They didn't make many mistakes against Orestimba.
"Lindsey's a stud," Hilmar coach Mike Alvernaz said. "She almost didn't play this year. She was going to play golf instead.
"She didn't think she'd make the team. She led our league in digs.
"Some of our girls talked her into playing. She's a smart player. She's not the fastest player, but she's learning how to read the hitter and anticipate where the ball is going to go."
Hilmar came out ready to face Orestimba for the fourth time this year.
John Labno's girls handed Hilmar its only WAC loss this season the last time the two teams played.
Hilmar will travel to No. 6 Sacramento on Tuesday to face Christian Brothers for a semifinal matchup. Christian Brothers defeated No. 3 Loretto 25-21, 25-14, 27-25 on Thursday.
RIPON 3, Le GRAND 0, at Ripon -- The top-ranked Indians made quick work of another opponent, defeating Le Grand 25-13, 25-15, 25-22 to advance to the third round of the section playoffs.
Ripon (33-7) got strong net play from Ashley Robinson, Kirsten Duren and Lauren Feddersen, who combined for 13 blocks. The Bulldogs (24-6) tried to tip and dink their way around Ripon's blockers, and was credited by coach Gia Priddell for playing scrappy defense.
Le Grand hoped to extend the night after going on a six-point run in the third game, five of those points off Ripon errors and one on a Briana Giamaoli hit which made the score 21-19.
Duren ended the game with one of her 10 kills. Brittany Heise also had 10 kills for the Indians.
UNION MINE 3, SONORA 0, at Sonora -- The Wildcats (19-3) lost the Division III playoff match 25-17, 25-15, 25-18 despite Hanah Blume's 11 kills and Ashley Pittman's 17 digs.
TURLOCK CHR. 3, BRADSHAW CHR. 1, at Elk Grove -- Mallory Iltis sparked the Eagles, leading the team in kills (eight), assists (eight) and aces (eight), in the 25-9, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17 victory.
Bee staff contributed to this report.