Sonora High volleyball

Number 17 for Sonora, sophomore Alexis Herfurth, gets up high to defend against Manteca on Tuesday night in CIF Division III playoffs in Bud Castle Gym. Sonora won 3 sets to 1 to advance to the next round, where they will play Central Catholic at 7 p.m. Thursday in Modesto. (Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat)

The Sonora Wildcats varsity volleyball team defeated Manteca 3 sets to 1 Tuesday night in the 2019 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Volleyball Division III playoffs, advancing to the second round to face Central Catholic in Modesto at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Seniors Ainslee Shuemake and Riley Hesler helped lead the Wildcats to victory, winning three sets of four, 25-16, 21-25, 25-15, and 25-20 in front a rowdy home crowd in Bud Castle Gym.

“Manteca was a really good team but our girls have been focusing on playing more scrappy on defense,” Sonora head coach Amy Wahlbrink said while the Wildcats celebrated their victory. “I think our scrappy defense and transition to offense kept us in it, and our hitters did great individual work at times to score points and keep us in there.”

Sonora, which finished the regular season 20-7 overall and 13-2 to win the Mother Lode League, are seeded 7th in the Division III playoffs, and Central Catholic are seeded 2nd.

This year’s varsity volleyball Wildcats have already improved over their showing in last year’s postseason. They won the Mother Lode League last year and lost their first-round matchup on the road in four sets to El Camino, about 200 miles north of Sonora.


Read more about the Sonora Wildcats victory to advance in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs in Thursday’s print edition of The Union Democrat.


Contact Guy McCarthy at or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.


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