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Doubles dominate while Duenas makes difference

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East Union High's Ashley Duenas hustles to keep the ball in play.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED September 10, 2010 3:13 a.m.
East Union High tennis coach Julia Bylow hopes the Lancers’ 8-7 squeaker against visiting rival Manteca is a sign that a turnaround is imminent.

East Union finally has its first victory after consecutive losses to begin the Valley Oak League season — first to contending Sonora, then to surprising Weston Ranch and finally to first-year varsity Kimball of Tracy.

“I’m obviously excited for our first league win, and beating a crosstown rival is always a good thing,” Bylow said. “Hopefully it’s a start of a new beginning for us. We can take some confidence from this and move forward. I thought the girls played really well.”

Especially at doubles, where the Lancers garnered the bulk of their points.

The No. 1 tandem of Klasey Kachalkin and Shalane Jackson won both of its sets by 10-1 scores, as did No. 2 partners Deanna Stuber and Gigi Sellers.

East Union needed the points from singles to clinch the victory, however, and No. 1 Ashley Duenas came up big.

After getting shut out by Manteca’s top player, foreign-exchange student Marlen Kurzhuls, Duenas outlasted Wendy Lin and Kaile Hunt by 6-3 and 6-0 margins, respectively.

Kurzhuls was the only singles player on the court to go 3-0, also defeating Chusila Lee 6-0 and dispatching EU’s No. 2, Rebecca Jacobson, 6-2.

Lin and Hunt chipped in two team points for Manteca (1-3).

“She doesn’t overpower her opponents, but she has great control and placement of the ball — just fun to watch,” Bylow said of Kurzhuls.

Oakdale 14, Lathrop 1
At Lathrop, Merchelle Alegado defeated Oakdale’s No. 2 Emily Clayton for the Spartans’ lone point. Lathrop could have closed the gap some with some hotly-contested sets. Alegado dropped a 6-7 set (5-7 tiebreaker) to Lindsay Dunn, and Lathrop No. 2 Michaela Pauley was edged out by Clayton by the same score.

Lathrop next heads to Sonora Tuesday.
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