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No. 3 doubles comes through

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No. 3 doubles comes through

Mike Lopez did his usual damage from Manteca’s No. 2 singles spot Tuesday, winning 6-1, 6-0 in the team’s postseason opener against Florin.

JONAMAR JACINTO/Bulletin file photo/

POSTED May 7, 2014 12:36 a.m.

With the season hanging in the balance, Frank Fontana and the Manteca High tennis team looked to two of its newest players for the pivotal point.

Kyle Thornburg and Si Hao Tang delivered like seasoned vets, dispatching Danny Lee and Brian Wong in straight sets to give the Buffaloes a 5-4 victory over Florin.

“Kyle and Si Hao played awesome to win the team match for us,” Fontana said. “... They were the stars of the day.”

The win vaults Manteca into the quarterfinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II team tournament, where it will face Rio Americano on Monday.

The Valley Oak League co-champions built a 4-2 lead after singles play with decisive points from Mike Lopez, Gino Mercado, Thomas Reza and Alex Vasquez, each winning their matchup in straight sets.

Lopez led the charge with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Pierre Lee in No. 2 singles.

“Mike does what he seems to always do,” Fontana said, “and that’s just win.

“Gino stepped up against a good player and our two seniors, Alex and Thomas, get to end their Manteca High home match (careers) as winners. What more can you ask for?”

Florin drew even in doubles with victories from its top two tandems. The fate of the match -- and the season — fell to the No. 3 doubles match: Thornburg and Tang versus Lee and Wong.

Though they only began playing tennis in February, Thornburg and Tang looked like they had been raised in the pressure-cooker of the playoffs.

The two pieced together a dominating 6-1, 6-0 victory to extend the Buffaloes’ season one more match.

“It was a team effort to get this win,” Fontana said.

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