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Sierra High senior Ann McFerran goes to work during a three-set thriller against Whitney's Sasha Datta Monday at Union Road Tennis Courts.


POSTED November 2, 2010 2:38 a.m.
Ann McFerran was intentionally kept out of the loop.

Battling with Whitney’s Sasha Datta in the No. 2 singles match Monday at Union Road Tennis Courts, McFerran wanted to know if her 2-hour marathon was worth the effort.

The longest match of the day ended with McFerran on top — 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 — but Sierra High was eliminated from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Team Tennis Tournament 5-4 by the visitors from Rocklin.

Teammate Vannida Nguyen was one of her loudest supporters, but she was mum when asked how the rest of the team was faring.

“She wouldn’t tell me,” McFerran said. “She said it probably won’t help or harm you. I really wanted to know, but she said I needed to get this done.

“Knowing that it’s my senior year and possibly my last match, I didn’t want it to end my high school (career) disappointed.”

Sierra’s standouts came through against the Capital Athletic League’s third-place team. What hurt Sierra as a team Monday was the expanded format.

While it’s nothing new to most conferences in the section, the VOL only requires seven players to field a full team — three singles, two doubles. Under that format, Sierra wins handily, 4-1.

Instead, first-year coach Marti Teunissen was forced to throw inexperienced players into the mix, and Whitney was able to get all of its points in the No. 3-6 singles and No. 3 doubles matches.

Essentially, it was depth, or lack thereof, that doomed the T’Wolves.

Whitney squares off with Sierra Foothill League powerhouse Granite Bay today.

“It’s tough. I was kind of throwing around ideas like maybe splitting up some of my doubles teams,” Teunissen said. “But if our conference (format) was different and those girls were playing all season like the other team did, it would have been a different ballgame altogether.

“I feel that we could have gotten the win.”

Nguyen was one of the first ones done after an unexpectedly one-sided 6-1, 6-0 win over Gracie Martinelli at No. 1 singles. Nguyen, a sophomore, was the Valley Oak League’s runner-up and will compete in the SJS Division II Individual Tournament Thursday in Roseville. Nguyen and McFerran qualified last year as a doubles pair.

“Actually, I was surprised,” Nguyen said of Tuesday’s easy win. “I thought maybe this would be more competitive, but I actually played better than I have the last couple of weeks so I’m happy.”

The Timberwolves, No. 2 out of the VOL, got the rest of their points at doubles.

The No. 1 tandem of Maryann Baker and Stephanie Vanni were impressive in dispatching Sarah Tucci and Marian Sasaki 6-1, 6-1.

Naoimi Nunis and Anna Cardenas grinded out a 7-5, 7-6 victory over Alexis Wrate and Reema Patel.

Vanni is making her second straight trip to the individual tournament Thursday at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club. Last year, she and graduated Jena Anderson were VOL champions. The Vanni-Baker duo took second in the conference tournament two weeks ago.

“I’m really nervous, but I think we can have at least one (win),” Baker said of her appearance at the individual tournament. “I have faith in Stephanie and I know we can do it.”
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