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Buffs earn shot at another SJS championship
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Senior Koryn Menasco did her part with a ho-hum 6-0, 6-0 win in top-seeded Manteca’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal with visiting Mira Loma.
The Buffaloes did what they’ve done all season, dominating the opposition in a 7-2 rout. Even if the result doesn’t come as much of a surprise, Menasco and the Buffs are ecstatic to have a chance to capture a second straight section championship.
The SJS will announce the site and start time for Thursday’s title match against No. 2 Rio Americano (14-2) today. The Capital Athletic League titleholder squeaked out a 5-4 win over third-seeded Benicia in the other semifinal.
“It would be so amazing to win it again,” Menasco said. “I just started playing tennis my freshman year and never did I think I was going to be playing for a section title two years in a row. We worked so hard this year. I think we deserve to be here.”
It was just the second time this season that Manteca (18-1) lost more than one match in a dual. No. 1 singles player Julia Tang lost to Jasjot Sandhu — a semifinalist in the SJS Division II Singles Tournament — 1-6, 0-6, and No. 6 player Stephanie Mercado split the first two sets with JuJu Hafftien 6-2, 4-6 before bowing out with a sore knee.
The rest of the singles contests were not close, starting with Menasco’s shutout of Iana Davydova in the No. 2 matchup.
“I knew I was going to play someone good — everyone is good at this point,” Menasco said. “I just stayed within myself today. Usually if someone is hitting the ball pretty hard at me I’m going to try and hit it hard back at her but then I would make mistakes. Today, I just played my game and let her make the mistakes.”
Taylor Corona defeated Grace Lee 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles. Makenna Condit won 6-2, 6-0 against Madelynn Tucker. Sahiba Kaur beat Tanushree Jain, 6-2, 6-1.
“We didn’t know a lot about them,” said Corona, one of just four seniors for Manteca. “We were pretty nervous, I know I was, but we stood our ground and did pretty well.”
Ravneet Dhillon and Navina Mann toppled Krishni Satchi and Linhdan Nguyen 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles. Julianne Eavenson and Kaileah Johannson fended off Amy Li and Riya Shergill, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2. At third doubles, Noeli Mercado and Melissa Poncini warded off Neha Shetty and Faith Chen 5-7, 7-5, 10-8 in the most competitive match of the day.