Buhach Colony and Oakdale, The Bee's top-ranked large-school volleyball teams, are the favorites heading into Saturday's Oakdale Invitational. The 12-team event opens with pool play at 9 a.m. and bracket play starting at 3 p.m. The championship match should start about 5:30.
Oakdale and Buhach are in separate brackets, and Escalon -- No. 3 in the small-school poll -- is favored in the third bracket.
Downey, Orestimba and West of Tracy are in Oakdale's bracket, and Bret Harte, Manteca and Davis are with Buhach. Escalon has Pitman, Modesto and Summerville in its four-team bracket.
MMC SOCCER -- The Modesto Metro Conference boys soccer race isn't even a third of the way through its triple round-robin format, yet it's clearly shaping up to be a three-team race with Johansen, Modesto and Downey. Johansen (3-0-1, 10 points) beat Downey 1-0 Tuesday to move into first place ahead of Modesto and Downey (both 3-1, nine points). Modesto beat Downey 1-0 in an MMC opener, and Downey visits Johansen today.
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A NICE MESSAGE -- After East Union beat Oakdale 217-286 last week, there was no animosity -- just lots of girls shaking hands and providing encouragement. EU's Lindsay Shoot fired a 1-under 35 at the Oakdale Golf & Country Club, and teammate Krysta Clark shot a 2-over 38.
No one seemed to mind that the final score wasn't very close.
"East Union is a class program that is a great example of hard work paying off," Oakdale coach Lee McGhee said. "The match today is exactly what high school athletics is all about. Both teams were congratulatory for excellent golf by Lindsay and Krysta. Nice to see competitors show great sportsmanship to each other (and) their teammates."