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Manteca cruises past Lancers, remains unbeaten in VOL play

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Manteca’s No. 1 seed Yok-Jing Ma returns a serve to East Union’s Luke Macias during a 6-1, 6-4 victory on Thursday as the Lancers fell to the Buffaloes, 8-1.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED March 21, 2014 12:41 a.m.

The Buffaloes’ tennis squad has dominated other Manteca Unified School District programs in recent history.

During Thursday’s cross-town Valley Oak League matchup between Manteca and East Union, the Buffaloes’ dominance against intra-city competition continued after an 8-1 victory despite it being their third straight match in as many days.

“That’s pretty routine for us,” Manteca head coach Frank Fontana said. “The other teams we’ve played against haven’t been that close of matches. I just think we’re a little more skilled than the other teams in league, so we’ll see what happens as we progress.”

Manteca’s No. 2 singles player Mike Lopez recorded one of six of the Buffaloes’ straight-set victories and was the only shutout after a win over Kevin Flores, 6-0, 6-0.

The Buffaloes’ top-ranked singles player Yok-Jing Ma defeated the Lancers’ Luka Macias 6-1, 6-4, while Gino Mercado (No. 3 singles) knocked off East Union’s Kyle Niendorf 6-2, 6-1.

The Buffaloes No. 4 singles player Thomas Reza defeated Tim Lumauig 6-0, 6-3 and the Lances fell in a 4-0 deficit early in the match.

Manteca’s No. 5 singles player Spencer Jackson made it 5-0 with a straight-set victory (6-0, 6-3) against the Lancers’ Jesus Ramirez.

The Buffaloes’ Edvin Pepic wasn’t able to complete the sweep for singles play as Marco Mata of the Lancers scored his squad’s only point with a three-set victory over Pepic to make it a 5-1 contest.

“It’s always great to get at least one match and not get swept,” East Union head coach Rick Mitchell said. “Manteca has a very, very good team. Hats off to them, they do a great job and are well-coached.”

Manteca finished doubles with three consecutive wins, highlighted by a 6-2, 6-3 win for the Buffaloes’ No. 3 doubles team of Yayha Shabbar and Christian Plares over Raul Duenas and Jesus Leon.

Alex Vasquez and Kyle Thornberg (No. 1 doubles) picked up a 7-6, (8-6), 6-2 victory over Luis Gonzalez and Jake Kramer. Manteca’s No. 2 doubles combo of Yok-Eyh Ma and Nolan Osborn defeated Christian Rodriguez and Mario Zuniga (5-7, 6-2, 10-6).

“(Rodriguez and Zuniga) played really well in the second doubles,” Fontana added. “They made us work the whole time. The first doubles (match) was kind of a struggle, especially in the first set. But we have to improve by Tuesday if we want to be successful against Kimball.”

Manteca will host the defending VOL champion and undefeated Jaguars on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The Buffaloes improved to 5-0 in VOL heading into next week’s critical league match that could potentially decide the league champ later down the line.

“We have to get ready and bring our ‘A’ game, if not we’ll lose the match,” Fontana concluded.

East Union will visit Lathrop on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Sierra 6, Weston Ranch 3

The Timberwolves’ No. 3 and 4 singles players Mark Paule and Josh Hernandez each picked up hard-earned, three-set victories. Adam Seagle (No. 5) and Anthony Algantar (No. 6) won in straight sets to put Sierra up 4-2 after singles play. The Cougars’ top two singles competitors, Chai Saepharn and Ion Obiso, defeated Sierra’s No. 1 Keegan D’Souza and No. 2 Laic Beugre in straight sets. Weston Ranch’s last point came from its No. 2 doubles tandem of Jaspinder Grewall and Kent Balacy, who defeated Sierra’s Zach Gosney and Jameson Smith. Sierra’s final two points came from Alex Len and Allen Len (No. 1 doubles) and Amalio Durazo and Andrew Andrade (No. 3 doubles).

Lathrop 5, Sierra 4 (Tuesday)

The Spartans’ No. 1 Ivan Alegado and No. 2 Arvin Aragon both picked up wins for Lathrop, as did Jared Palma (No. 4) and Ben Hoang (No. 6). The match was decided when Sahib Singh and Navinder Dhindsa defeated Sierra’s Durazo and Steven Gott in three sets. Sierra’s singles points were picked up by Paule and Adam Searle, while their doubles wins were tallied by the Brothers Len and Gosney and Smith.

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