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Buffs grind out win at Sierra to stay perfect
Tolbert-Diaz tandem clinches win at No. 1 doubles
Manteca No. 2 singles player Wendy Lin reaches for the forehand return against Sierras Naomi Nunis. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

This was far from a routine victory for Manteca High’s girls tennis team, which travelled across town to Sierra Tuesday as the established favorite to earn the Valley Oak League championship.

The Buffaloes prevailed 7-2 but gave their coaches reason to worry.

Sierra (2-1) needed to win all three doubles matches and was competitive in each of them. Manteca’s top doubles team of Elizabeth Tolbert and Liz Diaz clinched it with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Emma Hunter and Brenda Padilla, rendering the other two moot. Manteca (3-0) won those for good measure, as Julia Saling and Sealy McAdams took the No. 2 contest. 6-2, 6-4, while Katie Inderbitzin and Fechi Nkwocha pulled out the third in a three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Some of the singles matches were just as competitive.

At the No. 1 spot, Sierra’s Vannida Nguyen remains unbeaten after coming from behind to beat Rosa Zou, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. The Timberwolves’ got their other point at No. 3, where Anna Cardenas dispatched Adaeze Nkwocha, 6-1, 6-3.

Wendy Lin (6-2, 6-1), Weley Lin (7-5, 6-2), Jenny Yu (6-1, 7-6 (7-5) and Rosie Reynolds (6-2, 6-0) won the rest for Manteca.

Oakdale 8, East Union 1

Brooke Niendorf accounted for the host Lancers’ lone point with a 6-2, 6-0 sweep of Katie Odom at No. 2 singles.

East Union (0-2) came close to winning two others. Rebekah Jacobson dropped the No. 1 singles match 6-0, 1-6, 6-7 (5-7) to Kalkidan Curtis. At No. 5 singles, Nikki Reichmuth also dropped a three-set tiebreaker (4-6, 7-5, 5-7) to Christine Winders.

Kimball 5, Weston Ranch 4

The Cougars (0-3) put forth their best effort of the young season Tuesday. It came down to the No. 4 singles match, which Abigail Balingit dropped 6-4, 4-6, 5-7. Balingit was down 1-4 in the final set before tying it at 5-5.

Chelsea Olitan won the battle at No. 1 singles, 7-5, 6-3. First-year player Kazoua Vang captured the No. 5 match, 6-3, 6-1.

Weston Ranch also got points at No. 2 and 3 doubles, with Stephanie Millan and Renee Royster-West prevailing, 6-3, 7-5; and Kimberley Valladares and Amy Vang winning, 6-1, 6-4.