The Union Democrat Sports Department

Despite losing to Taft College 3-1 (20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25)on Wednesday, the Columbia College Claim Jumpers volleyball team is headed in the right direction.

"Tonight was the best we have played against Taft in years," said Claim Jumper head coach Jennifer Ousterhout. "I don't remember the last time we took a game from Taft, or were so close in points.I am very proud of my team tonight."

Lauren Lane went 33 of 36 hitting with 12 kills. Kami Perkins was 27 of 29 and 11 kills. Bella Bachtelle was 13 of 13 and seven kills. Miranda Storre was 8 of 9 and five kills.

"Our offense was amazing tonight," Ousterhout said."Our hitters were hitting through the block and finding the weaknesses of Taft's defense."

Brooke Earling recorded a team-high 15 digs. Setter Samantha Darrin had 24 assists and Allison Friel had 10. Bachtelle stonewalled five blocks and Lane and Storree added three each.

Earling was perfect at the service line, going 15 of 15 and Perkins was 18 of 20.

Columbia (8-9, 3-6 Central Valley Conference) will host Merced on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Oak Pavilion.

Volley Cats stay unbeaten in VOL

If the wins keep coming in, the Sonora Wildcats will end their final season in the Valley Oak League in fine style - as champions for the eighth straight time.

Sonora pounded Lathrop 3-0 (25-10, 25-4, 25-16)on Wednesdayat Bud Castle Gym to win its 11th straight VOL match.

For the Wildcats, Savannah Lawrence and Ali Pelfrey each blasted five kills. Shannon Friend, Bella Bergamaschi and Bailey Henington all finished with four.

Bergamaschi recorded a team-best 13 assists. Maria Chacon had nine and Kiana Pisula six. Also, Chacon triggered nine digs, Lawrence eight and Leah Dambacher six. Pisula had six aces serving, and Bergamaschi, Pelfrey and Angel Gardella had two. Lawrence added a block.

"We are excited that we have three matches left of league play," said Sonora head coach Kim Evans. "I'm glad that we are able to maintain our focus and get another win under our belt. It was great to have all the players be involved tonight."

Timberwolves fall to Ben Holt 4-2

The Tioga Timberwolves soccer team fell short 4-2 to Ben Holt of Stocktonon Wednesdayat Groveland.

Ben Holt got off to an early three-goal lead with scores in the eighth, 11th and 24th minutes for the Bobcats.

Tioga answered in the 26th when Matt Spring wall passed the ball to Johny Amoruso, who dribbled around a defender and made a left-footed shot into the back of the net to go into the break down 3-1.

Just two minutes into the second half, the Bobcats extended their lead.

But Amoruso and the Timberwolves did not quit. Amoruso pounced on a pin ball that bounced around and landed at his feet and blasted it toward the goalkeeper for his second score of the day.

"Our defenders Garrett Puerto, Shawn Ridgley, Caleb DeCoster and Rafael Garcia have tightened up their defensive play in the last three games since the start of the season," said Tioga head coach Douglas West."Overall, the Timberwolves are playing a much better team soccer game which our scores are showing."

Summerville soccer tops Bret Harte

Summerville got the best of Bret Harte in its Mother Lode League soccer match, winning 3-1Tuesdayat Dorroh Field.

Inaki Achondo had an impact in every goal for the Bears. The foreign exchange student from Chile provided the assist in the 32nd minute as Ben Richardson buried the ball into the back of the net.

Seven minutes later, Achondo flicked the ball in goal to give the Bears a 2-0 lead into the break.

"He played a really good game," said Bears head coach Dave Reel. "He's coming along. He did a lot of good stuff."

But the Bullfrogs answered, scoring a goal to cut the Bears lead to 2-1 minutes into the second half.

With a league title possibly on the line, the Bears weren't going to fold.

Achondo, again, connected for his second assist when midfielder Martin Kucerak sealed the Bears victory with a goal .

With the win, the Bears (9-1-2 MLL) have solidified second place in the standings. Only Linden stands in their way for a league title.

Summerville has won six straight and will put its win-streak to the test when the Bears host Argonauton Thursdayat Thorsted Field.

"We want to continue playing positive," Reel said.