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Hilmar pulls away with 3-1 win over Ripon
Mariah Ahid spikes the ball and scores for the Yellow Jackets during their game against Ripon High. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Hilmar (4-0) delayed their domination of Ripon (1-2) High on the volleyball court after a sluggish second game that unfortunately resulted in a match loss in Wednesday's home Trans Valley League contest.


Backed by head coach Patti Harris' words of wisdom, the Yellowjackets put the loss aside and went on to win the next two games to beat Ripon for the eighth consecutive time dating back to the 2012 season, 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-17 and 25-18).


“We really just made some more errors on our side in that second game,” said Harris. “Ripon does not lay down, you have to earn every point by playing consistent.”


Hilmar has now won 14 of their last 15 games.


Of the 13 errors in Wednesday's contest, five of them came in the second game after controlling the pace of the first game.


“It’s like the energy dropped a little bit then picked back up. I don’t know why we do that,” said Harris. “I think because they were so pumped to play Ripon and they let it all out in the first game then relaxed a bit, but you can't do it especially when you play a team like this because they will come.”


Hilmar combined for 46 kills as a team and senior Emily Baptista was responsible for 22 of those.


After winning the first game by six and losing the second game, by a close margin, Hilmar went on to sweep the Indians in back-to-back games anchored by the depth of this year's team —everyone.


“We are really lucky to have such a deep team,” said Harris.


Avery Martin had a game-high 37 digs and Hannah Pearce tacked on a team-high 36 assists.


Ripon's Samantha McCreath caused some inconsistency for Hilmar on the other side, especially after adding on a team-high 19 kills for the game.


“It was a battle of the outside because their outside hitter [McCreath] caused problems,” said Harris.


Luckily Hilmar still has Baptista and a few key components in Mariah Ahid, Riley Souza, Danielle Couchman, Pearce and Martin, all of which were vital assets to the comeback wins in the third and fourth game.


The third and fourth game was a transition period between both sides, but eventually the home side rallied behind their loud home crowd and dominated the third game by the largest margin of the night—8 points.


Seven points was the difference of the fourth game as Hilmar went on to win their fourth straight league contest and ninth consecutive win this season.


The last time Hilmar volleyball lost to Ripon was on Oct. 12, 2011.


“Overall we had a great game and played well. I just hope we keep pushing and keep pushing but I am happy with this team. These girls get along well and it should not be a problem,” Harris added.


Hilmar's next game will be at home against Escalon at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.