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Ma makes VOL singles final

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Ma makes VOL singles final

Manteca High’s Yok-Jing Ma will meet Kimball standout Garrett Chun for the Valley Oak League singles championship on Thursday. Chun, a sophomore, is the reigning titlist.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED April 30, 2014 12:43 a.m.

There were no big surprises in Day 1 of the Valley Oak League Tennis Tournament at Weston Ranch High on Tuesday.

Reigning singles champion Garrett Chun of Kimball returns to the final round to defend his 2013 title. This time he will meet Manteca High’s Yok-Jing Ma, whom he beat twice during the regular season. The duel between the top-two seeded players takes place Thursday during the doubles tournament back at Weston Ranch.

“Yok can’t play his ‘B’ game and get away with it against Garrett Chun — he is way too good for that,” Manteca coach Frank Fontana said. “Our players have been able to get away with it all year but that won’t happen in postseason tournaments against good players. He did real well against Garrett the first two times. We’re hoping the third time is the charm for him.”

Ma struggled early in his quarterfinal match with Kimball’s Mark Dalupan, who took an early 3-2 lead in the opening set. Ma ran the table to win 6-3, 6-0, then routed Sonora’s No. 4-seeded Andrew Klatt, 6-1, 6-0.

Manteca teammate Mike Lopez, the 2013 runner-up, dropped an 0-6, 3-6 decision to Chun in the semifinals. He earlier defeated Luke Macias of East Union, 6-1, 6-1.

Lopez was competitive at the start against Chun but dropped the deuce game to go down 0-1. It just snowballed from there for the third-seeded competitor, who was able to show flashes in the second set.

“Keeping the match close early was going to be important for Mike and the match got away from him too fast,” Fontana said. “It will be the same thing for (Ma) on Thursday, he has to be competitive early on. When Garrett goes up 2-0 he’s able to play free and without pressure for the rest of the match.

“Mike otherwise had a good day. Even though he’s the No. 2 player on our team he proved he is just as good if not better than most No. 1s in the league.”

Manteca’s third best player also proved his worth, as Gino Mercado upset Oakdale’s Josh Niendorf 8-6 in the opening round.

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