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Buffaloes tested at Clovis tournament

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POSTED March 7, 2009 5:16 a.m.
CLOVIS — Manteca went 1-2 in the first day of the prestigious California High School Tennis Classic Friday.

The Buffaloes (3-3) claimed the Division III championship last year but were moved up to the 32-team Division II bracket.

“It’s a whole different ballgame,” Manteca coach Frank Fontana said of the hike in competition.

Manteca found that out in its first match at Clovis West High, losing 4-2 to East Bakersfield. The Buffaloes’ No. 1 (Arnie Morales, Alex Barragan) and No. 2 (Alex McAdams, Kyle Morton) accounted for their only wins.

Manteca bounced back with a commanding 5-1 victory over Turlock at Clovis North High. Yassen Aniss (6-4, 6-2), Gabe Lopez (6-1, 6-1), Morales-Barragan (6-4, 6-2) and McAdams-Morton (6-2, 6-2) were all dominant. Manteca’s No.3 doubles duo of Marcus Gonzales and Sammy Dhaliwal squeaked out a 5-7, 7-5 (10-3 tiebreaker) win.

The Buffaloes closed out the day with Buchanan of Fresno, which won handily, 6-0.

Manteca will play three more matches today, and Fontana said he is more concerned about the experience itself than winning out. The Buffaloes are tuning up for the Valley Oak League season and are the two-time defending champions.

“The whole objective is to prepare us for league and to see what my guys are made of against quality opponents,” Fontana said. “This tournament is pushing them to become better players.

“So far, so good, but we’re not quite there yet. I think that by the time league comes (next week), we’ll be match tough and ready to go.”

— Jonamar Jacinto
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