Sierra High will be represented in the Valley Oak Leagues Singles Tournament final for the fourth consecutive year.
This time it will be second-seeded Anna Cardenas, who faces No. 5 Christine Winders of Oakdale in Thursday’s finale after winning three matches on Tuesday at the East Union courts.
Vannida Nguyen advanced to the championship round three years in a row, falling in the first two before finally earning the title in 2012. Cardenas, a senior, won’t get a second chance. She takes on a formidable opponent previously lost to in the regular season.
“It will be a tough match,” Sierra coach Vanessa Weeks said. “Winders is a backboard, but if Anna plays her aggressive game and is confident she can win.”
The defensive-minded Winders is actually Oakdale’s No. 2 player but moved up a spot to face Cardenas in that dual match with Christine Kim was out with an injury. Cardenas got to play Kim on Oct. 10 and won a hard-fought, three-set match, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.
Cardenas again got the better of Kim in Tuesday’s semifinal, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. She also downed No. 7 Jaynah Palma of Lathrop 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 and Danika Ramos, 8-4.
Winders made it look routine in her road to the finals, beating Manteca’s Sealy McAdams 6-0, 6-0 in her semifinal. It was a surprising result considering McAdams’ surprising win in the round prior.
McAdams, seeded eighth with Manteca’s top player Liz Diaz out, upset No. 1 Kylie Moxley of Kimball, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Another stunner came from Sierra’s unranked Annie Banks. After edging Manteca’s Elizabeth Tolbert 9-7, she knocked off No. 4 Delaine Barut of Weston Ranch by the same score. Banks’ run was halted by Winders in the quarterfinals, 0-6, 4-6.
East Union’s Brooke Niendorf, seeded No. 3, blanked Lathrop’s Jenna Magaoay 8-0 in her opening match before falling to Kim, 4-6, 3-6.
The singles championship will be played during the VOL Doubles Tournament Thursday. Singles and doubles finalists qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Tournament.