In its final season in the Delta River League, Ponderosa is leaving with a championship banner.
Taking on intra-county/league rival Oak Ridge Wednesday, the Bruins played solid in beating the Trojans in four games, 25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-19 for Ponderosa’s second league banner in three seasons.
“I think we did a pretty good job serving,” Ponderosa head coach Amy Stockett said. “That’s been a struggle for us this season. We served tough.”
Oak Ridge’s second set win was led by Connor Peterson, Sam Greenleaf, Wyatt Rowland, Chase Barri and Miguel Maestras, plus Ben Kopania off the bench.
“They played really well,” Oak Ridge head coach Melanie DeMure said. “We misdialed, miscommunicated. But they are a good group of kids, hard-working.”
Ponderosa (5-0, 16-8) jumped out to a 5-1 in the third set behind the serving of Haward Gomes, plus the aid of many side outs. Although they never led, the Trojans (1-3, 8-12) stayed close. The Bruins ended on a 12-6 run that included kills from Tanner Charron (19 in the match) and Kellen Salluce (15 kills).
“We talked a lot about being consistent, not just serving but all-around play,” said Stockett, “and that’s something we still continue to work on, and into the playoffs. Today, they earned Delta River League champions.”
The fourth game had Ponderosa jump out to an 8-4 lead behind side outs and service points from RJ Banke. Oak Ridge stayed within reach but the Bruins stayed the course, building their leads by as much as seven points, to secure the win.
Gomes had 17 digs, Charron 11 and Nic Davis 10. Charron also had 48 assists.
“Winning the league title “feels great,” Stockett said. “The guys have worked real hard all season, their goal is to (play for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title game).”
And winning against the Trojans is twice as nice for the Bruins.
“It’s a good, strong rival,” said Stockett of the Ponderosa-Oak Ridge rivalry. “It’s always a fun match, regardless of who’s been doing better in league play. They did a great job tonight.”