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Buffs trample contending Oakdale
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OAKDALE — With the toughest two-match stretch of the Valley Oak League season behind them, coach Frank Fontana and his Manteca High boys tennis team can breathe a sigh of relief — for now — after beating Oakdale 11-4 Thursday.

“It was 11-4 but it did not feel like 11-4,” Fontana said. “The match was very competitive.”
Just as he expected.

Going into the season, Fontana targeted Ceres, which the 3-0 Buffaloes edged 8.5-6.5 Tuesday, and Oakdale to be the teams to beat. But they are also wary of defending champion Sonora and much-improved East Union and Weston Ranch.

“I’m ecstatic with a 3-0 record at this point in the season,” Fontana said. “We’re rolling right now, but we can’t look past anybody because teams can beat each other this year. There is definitely some parity in the league.”

Thursday’s one-sided score was boosted by the dominant play of the Buffaloes’ doubles teams. No. 1 Max Angelo and Oral Nunis won their matches handily 10-4 and 10-1. Xavier Lopez and Marcos Munoz also coasted to 10-5 and 10-0 victories.

With six points in the bag just from the doubles sets, Manteca needed just two wins from its singles players to stay undefeated and got more than what was necessary.

Alex McAdams lost a tough 6-7 (4-7 tiebreaker) set against Oakdale No. 1 Daniel Dunning but won his next two 6-0 and 6-1.

Alex Barragan’s only win came by default, as Dunning opted to not play his final match against him.

Mark Leon, whom Fontana called the MVP of the match, took two out of three, including a 6-4 win over Dunning that clinched the team’s “W.”

Leon also defeated Blake Dunn, 6-2, but dropped a 1-6 set to Robby Earle.

“Mark was down 3-0 (to Dunning) and gutted out the win,” Fontana said. “I give the assist to McAdams because he played Daniel first and that set lasted close to an hour. When Mark played him he did a good job of keeping the ball in play and just kind of wore him down.

“This week we showed that tennis can be a team sport, because we’ve had different players step up each time out. Our depth has been amazing this year, and that’s what pushed us over the edge against Ceres and Oakdale.”

East Union 10.5, Weston Ranch 4.5
WESTON RANCH — East Union kept pace with Manteca by also winning its third straight match to start the VOL season.

The Lancers swept the first round of action to go up 6-0, but Weston Ranch came charging back to make them sweat.

“We didn’t play our best, but Weston Ranch played well,” EU coach Ron Bylow said. “We jumped on them immediately and we just lost it while Weston Ranch started playing better. We had to definitely battle for it at the end.”

East Union’s No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles won all of their matches. Sean Hilscher posted 6-3, 6-0 and 6-2 wins.

Chris Garcia and Matt Eichsteadt had an easier time dispatching Weston Ranch’s top doubles team, 10-6, but squeaked out an 11-10 (8-6) win against No. 2 Mike Tongpalad and Kevin Yamayoshi.

Ricky Peloso won twice (6-2, 6-0) at No. 2 singles. Satinder Singh picked up 6-0 and 6-1 wins to lead Weston Ranch (0-3, 1-3 overall).

Sierra 11, Central Valley 4
CERES — The Timberwolves (1-2) bounced back from their league-opening losses by thrashing CV in singles play, claiming eight of the nine sets.
Kevin Rausa (6-1, 6-0, 6-0) and Forrest Tolman (6-1, 6-0, 6-3) swept, and Josh Weiland, making his debut at singles, contributed two victories (6-3, 6-4). Alex Cunningham claimed CV’s lone singles win.

“We started the season struggling, however we’ve made some major changes in our lineup through challenges,” Sierra coach Arabella Whitlock said. “After playing doubles all last year and the beginning of this season, I was very pleased with (Weiland’s) performance.”

Sierra nearly won all doubles matches but settled for wins against the Hawks’ No. 2 team. John Alan Hewitt and Greg Blockinger recorded a 10-3 win, while Adrian Prieto and Oliver Wood added a 10-6 triumph.

CV’s top tandem of Gary Ney and Trinidad Sandoval edged out Sierra’s No. 1 pair 10-7 and won the other 10-8.

— Jonamar Jacinto