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Buffaloes down Weston Ranch in first-place battle
Manteca Highs Michael Lopez returns a shot to Weston Ranchs Sukhman Singh.

Manteca High’s boys tennis team has sole possession for first place in the Valley Oak League after beating Weston Ranch 7-2 on the road Thursday.

The Buffaloes (4-0, 7-4 overall) won all six singles matches to clinch it.

“A couple of matches were close, so it wasn’t as lopsided as the final score indicated,” Manteca coach Frank Fontana said.

Manteca’s top three players sparked the team early on, as each scored straight-set victories. At No. 1 singles, Oral Nunis defeated Carl Legaspi 6-2, 6-2; freshman Michael Lopez coasted past Sukhman Singh 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2; and Jacob Webb took the No. 3 match 6-4, 6-4 against Kevin Yamayoshi.

“Our top three singles guys really stepped up and played well from the first point,” Fontana said. “That contributed to our overall team match, because it allowed me to spend more time coaching up our No. 4, 5 and 6 singles.”

The other singles matches took longer, and with each of Manteca’s players dropping their first set Fontana had reason for worry.

Yok-Jing Ma traded 6-0 sets with Serbinder Singh before claiming the third, 6-4. Chris Kloska came back to beat Adrian Andrade 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the No. 5 match. Jorge Sierra upended Raymond Lagoc at No. 6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

“Our singles played really well today but we just couldn’t close out the sets,” Weston Ranch coach Jason Furtado said. “We had an opportunity to make it much closer but missed them.”

The Cougars (3-1) fared much better at doubles. Their top pair of Chai Saepharn and Arjun Singh swept, 7-5, 6-2. The No. 3 team of Ajay Bainiwal and Mark Legaspi won, 6-4, 6-4.

For Manteca, Sam Dhaliwal and Puneet Sandhu prevailed, 6-2, 6-4.

“Our doubles continue to prove their worth and have been the strength of our team so far this season,” Furtado said. “Overall, I’m proud of the effort and we’re looking forward to seeing them again.”

Manteca hosts East Union today for a makeup match before taking on contending Sonora next Tuesday.

East Union 9, Lathrop 0

The Lancers claimed their first win of the season on Thursday.

Mitchell Liwanag, their top singles player, posted a big victory over Lathrop’s Ivan Alegado, 6-3, 6-3. The only three-set match of the contest was claimed by No. 4 Arturo Leon, who edged Josh Wood, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.

Also winning for EU were: No. 2 Jean-Francois Moortgat (6-4, 6-2), No. 3 Tyler Bertao (6-1, 6-3), No. 5 Raymund Martinez (6-3, 6-4), No. 6 Chris Marlow (6-2, 6-0), No. 1 doubles Josh Kolkmann/Chris Herrera (6-4, 6-3) and No. 2 doubles Kevin Flores/Augi Mendoza (6-1, 6-1).

Sonora 8, Sierra 1

Sierra’s No. 1 player, Forrest Tolman, lost his first VOL match Thursday 1-6, 4-6 to Josh Smith.

The Timberwolves scored at No. 1 doubles, where Keegan D’Souza and Alex Len knocked off Donald Truong and Jesse Wildoner, 6-4, 6-4.

Oakdale 8, Sierra 1 (Wednesday)

Forrest Tolman cruised past Paul Perrone 6-1, 6-3 for Sierra’s lone point.

Austin Vietor was competitive at No. 5 singles, falling 5-7, 3-6 to Josh Niendorf.

Sierra’s No. 2 and 3 doubles teams both fell in super tie-breakers. Allen Len and Collin Stiffler lost 2-6, 6-4 (4-10), and Anthony Alcantar and Jonnel Alcantara were defeated, 1-6, 6-4 (5-10).