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Fall Sports Wrap - Freshman Volleyball Girls Win Title At Saturday Invitational
These Oakdale High freshman girls snared championship honors at their host Oakdale Invitational Volleyball Tournament on Saturday. - photo by Photo Contributed

Oakdale High’s freshman girls volleyball team claimed a host invitational championship, while soccer, water polo, tennis and golf teams saw their own brand of success during conference and tournament action over the past week.

Oakdale’s freshmen beat a tough Pitman team in consecutive games to win title honors in the Mustang Freshman Invitational Tournament at OHS on Saturday, Oct. 8. The win culminated a busy day of play for the youngest Lady Mustangs, who did battle with several squads in the all-day tournament and came out on top.
At the varsity level, Oakdale and Sonora volleyball teams both took perfect 6-0 records into Thursday’s conference meeting in Sonora, where the Wildcats defended their home court with a tight 3-2 victory over Oakdale.
The Mustangs won the first game 25-23, but took a 21-25 second game loss. Oakdale took the third in a 25-23 score, but dropped the fourth 10-25 and suffered a 10-15 defeat in the tiebreaker.
Justina Keith landed 15 kills, eight service points and eight digs while Kellie Gratigny popped up 19 digs with 37 assists and six points. McKenzie Willett added 10 kills, 17 digs and five points while Domi Powell had six kills and 18 points. Brittany Salas (16 digs, six points), Madison Ault (13 digs) and Kaitlin Van Ryn (13 digs) all played well.
Oakdale had dropped Weston Ranch in three games on Tuesday, but slips to second in the conference standings with the loss to Sonora. Oakdale can still claim a piece of the conference title by beating Sonora at home in the league finale on Nov. 11. And since Oakdale and Sonora have both defeated opposing conference programs 18 games to none, the league banner will likely come down to the finale in Oakdale.
The first release of the Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings is expected on Oct. 17. The section released league strengths this week that should benefit teams like Placer (2-0 Pioneer Valley League, 11-4 overall) and Christian Brothers (3-0 Capital Valley Conference, 16-8 overall) who play in conferences with high grades.
The CVC (1.4) and PVL (1.3) both sport better league strengths to multiply conference wins with than the VOL (1.25). But the league strength numbers are even tougher on the top teams from last year’s bracket. Vista del Lago and Union Mine both represented the Sierra Valley Conference in the finals of last year’s 16-team bracket, but the SVC is ranked at just 1.2286 in 2011.
Two days after a 2-1 loss to Sonora dropped Oakdale’s position in the Valley Oak League varsity soccer standings on Oct. 3, the Mustangs fired back with an impressive 3-1 win over previously unbeaten Sierra on Oct. 5 to stay within range of a top-3 VOL finish.
Sierra (8-2-3) overall had upended Oakdale in a 5-1 blowout on Sept. 12, but couldn’t stay with Oakdale during Wednesday’s three-score stanza in the second half.
Javier Aguiniga scored two goals for Oakdale while Erasto Ruiz also connected for a score. Scotty McNeil, Harry Harris and Gustavo Ruiz all made assists while McNeil landed six saves.
Gustavo Ruiz scored on a Sean Harrity assist during Oakdale’s loss to Sonora earlier in the week.
Oakdale (3-4-1) is one of four teams with three conference victories battling for the No. 3 spot in the league standings.
Water Polo
The Oakdale varsity boys upended two-time defending champion Madera and tourney host Sunnyside, but fell to Leland of San Jose in the championship game of the Sunnyside Tournament on Saturday. Neal Cadra, Braden Lee and Jeremy Neathery were leading scorers while Michael Tripp and Brandon Terwilliger led the Mustang defense.
The varsity boys went on to beat Ripon 11-4 on Wednesday to stay undefeated in Valley Foothill Conference play. Lee (five goals), Terwilliger (four) and Cadra (two) scored while Tripp and Frank Rossier combined for six saves at the net.
The Oakdale girls fell in a 9-6 score to Lodi on Thursday after three Savannah Stender goals. Cassie Lee scored twice while Shelby Stender also found the net. Hayley Benson made 12 saves for Oakdale.
Oakdale’s second half woes continue in Valley Oak League action after a 5-4 loss to Sierra on Thursday. Lindsay Dunn (7-6, 6-2) landed the lone singles victory while all of the Mustangs doubles teams took wins. Laurie Baxter and Katie Odom won in 6-3, 6-3 scores while Taylor Davis and Corin Hernandez landed 6-3, 6-2 victories. Francesca Orvis and Nicole Dickens took 6-1, 6-2 wins as well.
Oakdale dropped Sonora in a 7-2 score on Oct. 4 after wins from Christine Kim (2-6, 6-1, 7-6), Dunn (6-3, 4-6, 6-4), Nicole Armstrong (6-4, 3-6, 6-0) and Kalkidan Curtis (6-4, 0-6, 6-1). Baxter and Odom (6-1, 6-2), Davis and Hernandez (6-2, 6-1) and Armstrong and Orvis (6-1, 6-0) all claimed doubles wins.
Two straight losses have slimmed Oakdale’s chances for a league title. The team fell 277-274 to host Sierra at the Manteca Parks Golf Course on Oct. 3. Mabel Wong continued her streak of medalist honors with a 40-stroke performance, but the next closest Oakdale score was 16 swings away. Nicole Stastny shot a 56 while Dylanie Donahue carded a 58 and Michelle DesRochers a 61. Jenna Heaton shot a 62 and Nicole Pooley added a 78.
Oakdale lost a 285-275 match in Sonora at the Phoenix Lakes Golf Course on Wednesday. Wong shot a 44 while Heaton (53), Donahue (60), DesRochers (64), Rebecca Cone (64) and Stastny (64) also turned in scores.