RIPON -- Meredith Perkins had 46 digs and Kirsten Duren 26 kills as Ripon High took control of the Trans-Valley League volleyball race with a hard-hitting 25-20, 26-24, 12-25, 25-22 victory over Escalon on Wednesday night.
The Indians (20-7, 10-1 TVL) lead Escalon (22-4, 8-3) and Ripon Christian by two games with four matches remaining, and Escalon and RC will meet once more.
"We just hit a little harder," Ripon coach Larry Keethe said. "We got the breaks at the right time. It could have gone either way."
Duren recorded the final three points on two kills and a tip dunk, but Keethe said the liberos were the difference.
"The two liberos were absolutely incredible," Keethe said of Perkins and Escalon's Corrie Dollarhide. "Wherever the ball was, they got to it and got it up."
The quick Perkins was passing at the net and the back line. Dollarhide led the Cougars with 34 digs.
"We'd hit it as hard as we could, and I mean we hit it hard, and Corrie would dig it," Keethe said. "We practiced four days to keep it away from her."
Perkins and freshman Kelsey Johnston were among Ripon's many wounded, "mostly thumbs and hands," according to Keethe, but both still had big matches. Johnston led the Indians with 29 assists.
Escalon's Kaitlyn Brayton had 11 kills.
MODESTO 3, ENOCHS 0, at Enochs -- Karen Wall had 28 assists and five aces to lead the Panthers (18-2, 12-0 MMC) to a 25-14, 25-17, 25-11 win over the Eagles (6-15, 3-9). Renee Pico had five kills and 10 digs for Enochs.
DOWNEY 3, DAVIS 0, at Downey -- Elise Neville had six blocks and five aces to help the Knights (10-2 MMC) hand the Spartans (1-11) a 25-10, 25-15, 25-13 loss.
Alannah Johns had 10 digs for Davis.
BEYER 3, JOHANSEN 1, at Johansen -- Kaycee Martinez had 19 kills and Kellie Miller 43 assists as the Patriots (6-6 MMC) won 25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 25-15. Emily Myers had nine kills, 29 assists, nine blocks and five aces for the Vikings (4-8).
SONORA 3, EAST UNION 0, at East Union -- Ali Chabot had 16 assists and Jenni Vitek five aces in helping the Wildcats (10-1 VOL) to a 25-18, 25-14, 25-10 win.
Girls Cross Country
DAVIS 26, BEYER 29, at Davis Park -- Crystal Esparza of the Patriots set a course record of 18 minutes, 54 seconds, but the Spartans won anyway, led by runner-up Amanda Innes (19:18).
MODESTO 15, DOWNEY 50, at Legion Park -- Stephanie Stavrianade (21:42) edged Modesto teammate Fiona Nuestro by one second.
Boys Cross Country
MODESTO 15, DOWNEY 45, at Legion Park -- Matt Maldonado of the Panthers won by 30 seconds in 16:10.
DAVIS 1, DOWNEY 0, at Downey -- Phillipp Richter scored on a direct free kick from 25 yards out 15 minutes into the match as the Spartans (4-3-5 MMC) blanked the Knights (6-3-3). Davis pressure created a Downey foul that set up Richter's shot.
Davis coach Ethan Duewell praised the play of sweeper Kyle Lybolt, saying, "Kyle is very aggressive and really cleans up behind the defense."
BEYER 2, JOHANSEN 1, at Johansen -- Bozadar Vukancic's second goal of the game -- a penalty kick with 10 minutes left -- broke a 1-1 tie as the Patriots (4-5-3 MMC) defeated the Vikings (4-6-2).
All three goals came on penalty kicks. Johansen tied it 1-1 on a goal by Jose Luis Rodriguez with 15 minutes remaining.
MODESTO 3, ENOCHS 0, at Enochs -- Jorge Esparza had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (8-2-2 MMC) in their win over the Eagles (2-9-1).
PATTERSON 7, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 0, at Central Catholic -- Sergio Hinojosa and James Santana each scored twice for the Tigers (17-3, 10-1 WAC). The Patterson goalies didn't have to make a single save.
HILMAR 6, GUSTINE 0, at Hilmar -- Lucas Behem had three goals and an assist for the Yellowjackets (7-3-2 WAC).
College Men's Water Polo
SANTA ROSA 15, MODESTO 5, at Santa Rosa -- Andrew Pedersen scored two goals to lead Modesto JC, which trailed just 5-3 at halftime.