State

RC rolls in NorCals

RIPON -- After Ripon Christian coach Tiger Shelton finished talking to reporters Tuesday, his 11-year-old daughter, Andie, delivered a message:

"That's my daddy. He's a good coach," she said.

Nobody disputed the claim, as Shelton and Ripon Christian beat Marin Academy 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Northern California volleyball playoffs.

"She's incredible," Shelton said, referring to his daughter. "She's probably my biggest fan."

Ripon Christian dominated 25-18, 25-16, 25-10 to improve to 23-4. The victory sends the fourth-seeded Knights (23-10) into Saturday's semifinals against top-seeded Mt. Madonna (27-6) of Watsonville at Bethany College in Scotts Valley. The Central Coast Section-champion Hawks rolled past Turlock Christian 25-10, 25-17, 25-12.

Junior setter Candice Adema had a good all-around match, posting 12 assists, four digs, three blocks, three kills and two aces. Kelly Van Elderen led the team with seven kills and six blocks, and Kailee Adams had nine digs.

"Ripon (Christian) did a couple things really well. They served well and they blocked really well," Marin Academy coach Craig Wong said.

RC served eight aces, and many of its other serves put Marin Academy in bad position to score. Marin consistently had to dive for serves, leading to poor sets as the hitters often attempted kills from 10 feet out.

"We're a young team," said Wong, who has six freshmen, two sophomores, one junior and no seniors.

RC was executing on offense and causing confusion for its opponent. Even busted plays turned into points.

In the third game, after a set was saved from off the court, Adams moved to the back of the court to get the ball over the net.

Her two-hand volley put the ball in the middle of Marin's defense. After the ball hit the ground, the defenders looked at each other in disbelief.

"Everything was going well for us," Adams said. "I didn't mean to do that. I just turned around and tried to get it over. I mean, I tried to get it in that spot and it just kind of worked out."

RC came out nervous, Shelton said, and trailed 7-1 in the first game. After a timeout, the Knights went on a 7-0 run after consecutive blocks from Briana DeVries and Van Elderen.

The Knights threw together a 10-4 run after that and Marin Academy got no closer than five.

The RC student section played a big role, as its loud cheers gave confidence to the home team and intimidated Marin, both coaches said.About 150 fans were on the RC sideline.

"The road is always a tough place to play," Wong said. "There was a big crowd. A lot of fans came out from Ripon and kind of put the pressure on the girls."

Bee staff writer Scott Oxarart can be reached at soxarart@modbee.com or 578-2300.

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