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What’s all the racquet?

Spartans net first-ever win

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POSTED September 11, 2013 1:06 a.m.

Arabella Whitlock had just one request of her young Lathrop girls tennis team: Hold your racquets back and be ready to hit.

To hit ... or make history?

The Spartans accomplished both on Tuesday afternoon, earning the program’s first-ever victory with a 5-4 decision over Sonora, a team equally as young and inexperienced.

“I told them I didn’t care how their shots looked or anything else,” Whitlock said. “Just wanted them with that racquet back and ready. They did just that and they were able to keep the ball in play.”

A funny thing happened after that — Lathrop found itself dedicating many of the pairings.

The match was ultimately won with a stellar performance from the Spartans’ singles players. No. 1 Jayna Palma, No. 3 Jenna Magaoay, No. 4 Danielle Osoteo and No. 5 Deja Andrades each earned points with straight-sets victories.

Lathrop’s No. 1 doubles team of Ann Maree Barber and Lexis Bonifacio sealed the historic win with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-0 win.

“When you are a really young team, it is exciting for your players to see growth in themselves,” Whitlock said. “It was obvious as they were getting points, then games, then sets. They were beginning to play with a bit of confidence.”

Manteca 8, Sierra 1

Manteca didn’t look like a team playing for the fourth time in five days.

Liz Dias anchored the singles ladder with a straight-sets victory and the Buffaloes’ doubles teams swept Sierra.

Dias topped Anna Cardenas 6-3, 6-2 in the No. 1 singles match, setting the tone for Manteca’s second runaway league victory in as many days.

Elizabeth Tolbert, Julia Saling, Fechi Nkwocha and Allison Rachels won their singles matches rather convincingly, combining to give up just 15 games to their crosstown rival.

It was more of the same in doubles, where Manteca surrendered just six games in a three straight-sets victories.

Annie Banks notched Sierra’s only point with a marathon victory, 7-2, 5-7, 15-13.

Oakdale 5, East Union 4

Singles players Maddie Yslava and Olivia Vezaldenos won in straight sets, and Alexis Phillips and Mandi Roberts won an abbreviated doubles match for East Union.

The Lancers’ other point came virtue of an injury default in the No. 1 singles match.  Brooke Niendorf was credited with the win.

Yslava won 6-4, 7-5, while Vezaldenos rolled 6-1, 6-4.

Phillips and Roberts split the first two sets of the No. 1 doubles match, winning the opening stanza in a tiebreaker (7-2). The third set was played as a tiebreaker because the match had already been decided, said East Union coach Rick Mitchell.

Phillips and Roberts won the tiebreaker 7-5.

Kimball 5, Weston Ranch 4

Weston Ranch won two of three doubles matches to make this Valley Oak League showdown close, but needed a sweep to defeat Kimball on a blustery afternoon.

No. 2 doubles Kim Valladeres and Jasmeen Sembhi won 6-1, 6-2, while  No. 3 Jennifer Contreras and Brittany Olitan won their varsity debut 6-2, 6-1.

Danica Ramos and Kazoua Vang notched the Cougars’ only singles victories.

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