American River showed why it’s one of the Big 8 Conference’s top volleyball teams on Wednesday night, but not without a game effort from Modesto Junior College.
The Pirates scared Northern California’s fourth-ranked team by winning the first set before falling 3-1 at MJC Gym. Modesto was defeated 21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22.
“American River will finish first or second in the league,” MJC coach Tiger Shelton predicted. “I thought our whole team played well. We just made a few more errors than they did, and they forced our errors.”
Modesto (9-5, 1-2), determined to bounce back from its disappointing four-set loss at Sierra last week, opened by taking the final three points of the first set over the Beavers (10-5, 3-0) for the win. A good back-set by Alexis Alvernez led to the winning swing by Shania Williams.
Sierrah Miller, the Pirates’ standout outside hitter, delivered 19 kills and 16 digs. Williams had 14 kills and nine digs, and Alvernez totaled 31 assists. Justina Keith served seven aces, and libero Brooke Finnegan had 19 digs.
Men’s water polo
Pirates beaten – Merced (10-6) downed the Pirates 12-5 in non-league action at the Dave Ashleigh Aquatics Center despite two goals apiece by MJC’s Mitchell Moreda and Will McCormick. Modesto (6-9) also featured a goal by CJ Cossey and nine saves by goalkeeper Geoff Risting.
Women’s water polo
Big 8 loss – Fresno (6-5, 3-0), tied for first in the Big 8 Conference, pulled away from Modesto (1-8, 1-3) for a 17-7 win. Rebekah Groteguth paced the Pirates with five goals and Alyna Smith had two. Tasha Larson and Smith had five saves apiece in the cage.