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Annie Banks falls in VOL semifinal; eyes doubles title
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Sierra just missed out on having another finalist in the Valley Oak League Singles Tournament.

Third-seeded Annie Banks dropped a well-contested 6-7 (4-7), 5-7 decision to No. 7 Amie Ardis of Central Catholic in the semifinal round Tuesday at East Union. That sets up an all Central Catholic-finale, with Payton Kelley prevailing over Kimball’s Kylie Moxley 6-1, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

Two different Timberwolves, Vannida Nguyen and Anna Cardenas, reached the past four VOL finals and each claimed the last two individual titles.

Moxley forfeited the third-place match against Banks. The singles championship will take place during the doubles tournament Thursday back at East Union. Central Catholic captured the VOL team crown in the regular season and again showed why it was the top team Thursday having had three of its own advance to the quarterfinals. Ardis also upset second-seeded Christine Kim of Oakdale, 7-5, 6-1.

“(Ardis) was really consistent and hit a lot of slice balls that stayed low,” Sierra coach Vanessa Weeks. “When Annie was aggressive she was winning the points, but she had a really long match right before that. Had Annie played her on a different day she may have played a little better. It was really close, just a matter of a few points here and there.”

Banks opened tournament play with an 8-1 victory over Oakdale’s Danika Brown and was challenged by Central Catholic’s Emma Withrow in the quarterfinals, earning a 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 win.

Sierra was the only Manteca area squad to have two players make it to the quarterfinal round, the other being Banks’ younger sister Claire. She topped Carley Newbill 8-3 in the opening round before knocking off No. 8 Sealy McAdams of Manteca, 8-4. Kelley eliminated the younger Banks, 6-0, 6-3.

The Banks sisters will be paired up for Thursday’s doubles tourney.

“Annie was pretty happy with getting third place and is looking forward to competing with her sister,” Weeks said. “She only lost three (regular-season) matches, so she had a good senior year.”

Manteca’s Elizabeth Tolbert, the No. 4 seed, defeated East Union’s Maddie Yslava 8-1 before falling to Moxley, 5-7, 1-6 in the quarterfinals. Kazoua Vang of Weston Ranch was seeded eighth and defeated by Withrow, 2-8.

The singles and doubles finalists all qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Tournament set for Nov. 6-7 at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville.