There are two things Mason Merilles loves:
Manteca's girls tennis team ended the first round of Valley Oak League play with a pivotal 5-4 win at Oakdale despite missing two regular doubles players Tuesday.
Lathrop threatened to force a fifth set but came up short against visiting East Union, which prevailed 25-15, 25-22, 13-25, 25-21 for its first Valley Oak League victory of the season.
McKenna Doyle posted her best score of the season Tuesday at Manteca Park Golf Course and was low medalist in Sierra's 258-287 victory over Oakdale.
Ripon Christian got back on track Tuesday with a 4-1 win at Waterford.
LATHROP - East Union was relentless in the attacking third during the first half, pressuring the Lathrop defense into mistakes with precision passing and outstanding individual play.
Missed opportunities and defensive breakdowns kept Sierra from gaining at least a point in the Valley Oak League standings Monday.
Ripon High's girls golf team placed second among North Division teams in the Valley Foothill League Mid-Year Tournament, which was held Monday at Micke Grove Golf Course in Lodi.
MODESTO - The East Union defense was able to bottle up Gregori's high-octane attack and its star running back for a half Friday night at Don Lanphear Stadium.
Alyssa Burch and the rest of the Manteca High volleyball team couldn't mask their excitement after notching the clinching point.
Escalon had a score to settle with Ripon on Thursday as the two met in a showdown of undefeated teams in the Valley Foothill League's North Division.
East Union, Ripon and Weston Ranch each garnered their first victory of 2014 last week, but backing it up with another won't be easy as all three hit the road this Friday to meet opponents with winning records.
It was a three-person race for low-medalist honors at Manteca Park Golf Course on Wednesday, where cross-town opponents Manteca and Sierra met for a pivotal Valley Oak League dual match.
Ripon dominated visiting Lodi in a three-game sweep (25-10, 25-14, 25-17) Wednesday.
The Manteca High girls cross country team has some work to do if it wants to keep its spot on the Valley Oak League throne.
Ripon showed no drop off with reserves getting ample playing time in Wednesday's three-game rout (25-11, 25-15, 25-12) of visiting Modesto Christian.
Manteca held its own against Central Catholic and nearly forced a fifth set in a 25-19, 13-25, 21-25, 24-26 Valley Oak League loss Tuesday in Modesto.
Ripon Christian secured the outright claim to the Southern League championship with Tuesday's 2-0 victory at Denair.
Vista del Lago and Christian Brothers players took turns taking pictures with their prizes on the 18th green at Manteca Park Golf Course.
Ripon had two golfers finish in the top 10 in Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament held at Micke Grove Golf Links, but both played their final round of the season.
It all comes down to Wednesday's winner-take-all Valley Oak League finale between cross-town foes Manteca and East Union.
East Union lined up in victory formation on its own 5, down 35-21 in the final seconds of its intra-city duel at Sierra's Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Sealy McAdams and Elizabeth Tolbert's last two matches in Thursday's Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament held at East Union had entirely different endings.
Alyssa Burch hosted another block party at Manteca High's Winter Gym on Thursday.
Injury-hampered Ripon gave up two second-half goals by Ulises Ramirez on set pieces and are now in danger of not repeating as league champions no thanks to Thursday's 2-0 loss at Escalon.
East Union considered last week's game with Lathrop to be its "Super Bowl."
Gerardo Romero scored two goals and assisted another in East Union's 4-1 triumph at Sierra on Wednesday.
Weston Ranch's coronation looked as if it was going to be delayed.
Manteca had two game-point opportunities in an attempt to force a fifth set against visiting Weston Ranch but came up short in a 20-25, 25-27, 25-16, 30-32 defeat Wednesday.
East Union won the Valley Oak League title and Brooke Riley is the MVP.