Modesto JC rallies to knock off Sierra

It took some extra effort for the Modesto Junior College volleyball team to beat Sierra College on Wednesday.

Maybe a little more effort than the Pirates would have liked.

Modesto defeated Sierra in three sets, but had to rally in the second and third for a 30-18, 30-26, 30-27 victory.

Head coach Dave Winfrey said the Pirates have a tendency to relax after a dominant first game, and that's not going to work against state-ranked teams in the Big 8 Conference.

"We have to learn to play up and not play down a level," Winfrey said. "We have to learn to be competitive, to not let our emotions get in the way. We have to learn to be efficient in games like this."

The Pirates (11-3, 2-0 Big 8) trailed 6-0 in the second set before Amanda Musso hit one of her 10 kills.

Their first lead came at 27-26 when Tanya Jennings and Corrisa Jacomini blocked a Wolverine hit. Modesto won on an Elizabeth Gutierrez ace.

Sierra (2-14, 0-2 Big 8) scored five consecutive points to go up 17-16 in the third set, when Modesto had five of its 13 service errors. The Pirates celebrated the victory when Sierra hit into the net.

"We got in a hole and dropped our confidence -- almost," Musso said. "When we get down we tend to keep going down. We didn't do that. We played really consistent."

Allison Mikkelsen finished with 10 kills and 10 digs. Gutierrez had 23 assists.

Without three injured players, the Pirates had some people in different positions.

Winfrey looks forward to the day Modesto can rise up at full strength.

Modesto is ranked 14th in Northern California and faces ranked teams in three of its next four matches.

"Every team we've beaten is good and we've been down a man," Winfrey said. "If we get everybody, we might hurt 'em the second time around. We can't be satisfied with 14th. That's not going to be good enough to make playoffs."

Women's Water Polo

MJC 8, DELTA 7, at Stockton -- Annie Zwahlen scored the go-head goal for Modesto and goalie Lorna Lynott made a last-second save.

Coach Kurt Olson said it was Modesto's biggest game in the Big 8 Conference, which the Pirates (12-1) are on top of with a 3-0 record.

Delta was ranked third in the state and Modesto sixth entering the game.

Michaela Solorio scored four goals and Katie Griffith applied pressure late to help thwart a Mustang goal. Collette Lash and Lauren Griffin also scored. Lynott had 16 saves.

Men's Water Polo

DELTA 12, MJC 7, at Stockton -- The Mustangs exacted revenge on the Pirates, who beat Delta in the Ohlone Tournament championship game Sept. 22.


STANISLAUS SET -- Schedules have been finalized for the Cal State Stanislaus basketball teams and the men will play at Nevada on New Year's Eve at 3:05 p.m.

The men also open the season at three other Division I schools -- Pacific on Nov. 1, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo on Nov. 3 and Santa Clara on Nov. 5.

The women open with the Eva Schicke Memorial Classic on Nov. 16-17, featuring Northwest Nazarene and Tampa. The teams open camp on Oct. 15.

For the first time, the California Collegiate Athletic Association will hold championship tournaments.

The top eight teams qualify with first round games on campus. The semifinal and championship games will be held March 4-8 in San Bernardino.