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Cats advance: Sonora sweeps Colfax, reaches Final 4

Jesse Jones/Union Democrat. Sonora’s Savannah Lawrence (2) denies a kill attempt on Thursday with Angela Gardella (15) ready for a deflection on Thursday against Colfax at Bud Castle Gym.
Sonora huddled during a timeout with the score tied in Set 3 20-20.

The Wildcats had dominated Colfax in the first two sets of Thursday’s volleyball playoff match, but the third set was up for grabs.

Suddenly, a loud team yell emanated from the Wildcat huddle that echoed around Bud Castle Gym. A few seconds later came another.

“Coach (Kim Evans) came in and said, ‘Who’s No. 1?’ and we said, ‘We are!’ ” said Wildcat Angela Gardella. “And then she said, ‘Who’s gonna beat them?’ And we said, ‘We are.’ We all had faith in our team always.”

Jumper volleyers beaten by Reedley

The Columbia Claim Jumpers volleyball team fell to Reedley College 3-0 (20-25, 22-25, 14-25) on Wednesday night in Reedley.

From the beginning, Columbia could not settle down to play its game.

“Tonight’s game was frustrating to watch,” said Claim Jumpers head coach Jennifer Osterhout. “We have so much talent and hardworking players on this team and they always play with heart, but tonight we didn’t reach our usual standards. The team had a hard time gaining momentum and holding a lead for any length of time.”


Fish rising; Stream trout season over tonight at 12


The Union Democrat 

Most fishing activity is now in the lower foothill lakes and at New Melones Reservoir, bank fishing is really picking up.

Cooling water temperatures bring the trout closer to the surface as well as closer to shore as they feed mostly on shad minnows.

Glory Hole Sports offers a good approach for bank angling with bait. By splitting the water into three sections, top, middle, and bottom, it will help find the depth where the fish are feeding. 

I will describe the first method this week and each of the other levels over my next two columns.

Method 1 is called the Bubble/Crawler rig. It consists of a plastic bubble, a swivel, a 24-to-48 inch leader, and a bait holder hook. First slide the bubble on the main line, tie on the swivel, the leader, and the hook.

Fill the bubble half full of water for casting weight and then thread a nightcrawler on the hook. This set up can be used motionless or with a slow retrieve.

SIRS duo splendid at Modesto Tournament

(This report covers the scores from Oct. 29-Nov. 7 as bowled at Black Oak Lanes.)

Some of the local SIRS went to Modesto this past week for a club tournament. And two of our local bowlers, Mike Bowers and Bob Thomas, were headed toward perfection but their 10th balls failed to hit the pocket.

Bowling a step ladder (three consecutive games one pin higher than the last) is difficult, but bowling a 215-213-214 is just as difficult. Dave Rossi recorded those scores with three games of very consistent rolling.

The Sour Apple (5-7-10 split) is alive and well, yuck, at least it was for Kay Hunter in Young At Heart.

Cats eye section crown: Sonora’s Grolle going for 3-peat

File photos / Union Democrat Sonora’s Steven Grolle leads the pack last year on his way to defending his section championship in Folsom.
Steven Grolle and the Sonora Wildcats cross country team have been waiting for this moment.

A chance to compete for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championship.

With Grolle, a two-time section champ as a sophomore and junior leading the charge, Sonora is in prime position to capture its first section title since 2010 at Saturday’s section meet in Folsom.

And it starts with Grolle, Sonora’s ace runner.

“He has natural ability,” said Wildcats head coach Glenn Bass, who has won two section crowns in 10 years. “He has a great work ethic. He is a competitor. He’s very mature. He’s a hard worker and he goes out there and gives it everything he’s got.”

Polo Cats lose to Rio Americano in Division 2 semis

The Sonora Wildcats boys’ water polo team made history this season.

Although the Wildcats were knocked out of the semifinals in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Championships Wednesday in Rocklin, they accomplished more than any other Wildcat team.

Sonora captured just its second Valley Oak League title this year, and followed that with back-to-back playoff wins for the first time in program history.

“This is the best we have ever done in the postseason,” said Wildcats head coach Matt Personius. “The highest we have ever finished. They came a long way this year and had a really respectable season.”

Sonora swats Whitney in Round 1

The Sonora Wildcats water polo team crushed Whitney High School 17-1 in first round of the Division II Sac-Joaquin playoffs on Saturday in Rocklin.

Sonora clawed out to a 5-0 lead in the opening quarter and never looked back.

“They just couldn’t match up with us anywhere,” said Wildcats head coach Matt Personius. “We were a faster, quicker team. We were forcing the steals in the first court. Scoring goals off our counter attack in the first quarter.”

Subsections: Bears, Cats, Skins, Wolves advance

With four Top 10 finishes, the Sonora Wildcats, Calaveras Redskins, Summerville Bears and Tioga Timberwolves qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country championship meet on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Folsom.

Columbia netters sweep West Hills on road

Columbia College topped West Hills 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-19) on Friday night in Coalinga.

Claim Jumpers win 2 at Las Positas tourney


After a 75-65 loss at the Las Positas Tip-Off Classic on Thursday, the Columbia College Claim Jumpers rebounded in the next two games to win the consolation championship at Livermore.

Columbia beat Gavilan College, of Gilroy, 76-73 and knocked off Richmond’s Contra Costa College 70-58.


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