Olivia Andam, Livingston volleyball
While her team has struggled to stay above .500 in the Western Athletic Conference, Olivia Andam has provided stability at the net for Livingston. The conference is stocked with talented front-row players, including Orestimba's Ryan Ramos and Hilmar's Caitlin Benning, and Andam has established herself as one of their peers in WAC play.
Andam was at her best during last week's three-game sweep of Gustine, with 10 kills and seven blocks. She also contributed nine kills and swatted back a block in a three-game sweep of Patterson, a victory that kept the Wolves' Sac-Joaquin Section playoff hopes alive.
She's had at least eight kills in each of Livingston's conference matches, including four where she reached double figures. Twice she had seven blocks in a match, attesting to her ability to not only hit a ball that has been set for her, but to block foes' shots while on the move.
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Marcus Shaw, Buhach Colony soccer
Sitting atop the Central California Conference standings isn't a spot that many folks expected to find Buhach Colony, but that's just where the Thunder is with the regular season winding down.
"One thing we struggled with last year was playing every game at the top of our level," coach Josh Newton said. "The team has responded to the difficulties we had last year by focusing on every practice and every game."
Marcus Shaw is playing a key role in the Thunder's success, having scored two goals in a 3-0 win over third-place Pitman. The victory kept the Thunder ahead of preseason favorite Atwater.
"Our league is very strong and literally any game can go to any team," Newton said. "As for explaining why we are first and Atwater was the favorite, our defense has stepped up and ensured many of our victories."
The Thunder has six shutouts in nine CCC matches.
Lyndsay Sutterley, Pitman water polo
It was a busy week for Lyndsay Sutterley, who led Pitman to a pair of Central California Conference wins and then took the Pride to a 15th-place finish at the Western States Tournament. She had eight goals in a 13-2 conference win over Golden Valley, then scored seven in an 18-8 win over Merced, keeping Pitman perfect in the conference.
"Lyndsay has stepped up as a team leader, where members of our squad look up to her and come to her for help and advice," coach Anne Cornell said. "She plays year-round and has been working on her swimming technique to improve her speed and endurance."
"Lyndsay has been working on her hole set by using her left hand for shots and passing," said Cornell, whose club is headed to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. "She has paid particular attention to body positioning ... to defend and set when necessary."
Vicente Vigil, Riverbank soccer
There's not much that happens on the field that catches Vicente Vigil by surprise. As the sweeper, he has a dual role -- directing the Bruins' fullbacks when to attack the ball and then swooping in to make sure the ball is then sent far downfield.
"He instructs his fullbacks to bust up plays and then picks up the garbage while the other team gets more and more demoralized, just like a sweeper should," coach Martin Gonzales said. "He leads the team by talking and by his actions."
Vigil was at his best last week, as the Bruins shut out first-place Escalon 2-0 and knocked Ripon out of second place with a 2-0 victory. That left Riverbank alone in second place in the Trans-Valley League.
"Vicente was hurt with a knee injury right before the season started, playing in one of the Mexican adult leagues," Gonzales said. "He vowed to get healthy and be ready for his senior year and he has been great."
-- RICHARD T. ESTRADA