By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Coutrakis punches ticket to TVL title match
TENNIS - TVL Tourney Pic7 for 5-3-14
Savannah Bickle of Ripon keeps her eye on the ball during her matchup against Modesto Christians Ali Stokes Friday at the SOS Club in Modesto during the TVL Girls Singles Tournament. - photo by JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/ The Bulletin

MODESTO – Ripon head coach Robert Mayfield couldn’t recall the last time an Indians boys tennis player made it to a Trans Valley League Tournament championship or much less punched a ticket to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III  Individual Tournament.

Ripon sophomore Bryce Coutrakis has made that a bit easier to remember from this point forward.

Coutrakis, who will compete at Oak Park in Stockton Thursday at the individual section tournament, won both of his matches on Friday at the SOS Club and will compete for the TVL’s singles championship today at 9 a.m. against Escalon’s Ashton Redberg.

“That will be a feature match,” Mayfield said. “We had no idea he’d be in this position at the end of the year, and he has a pretty good chance at winning it.”

Coutrakis opened up the day by eliminating Escalon’s Marcus Cunningham, and then shocked the entire TVL by beating the league MVP and the tournament’s No. 1 seed Juan Alfaro of Riverbank, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4.

“It was an awesome match,” Mayfield added. “(Coutrakis) just started playing singles halfway through the season, and this wasn’t totally unexpected…but it’s a pretty good story.”

In the girls singles tourney, Ripon’s Savannah Bickle won her quarterfinal match against Modesto Christian’s Ali Stokes, 6-4, 6-2. Bickle was then eliminated by undefeated Taylor Laugero of Escalon, the tournament’s top seed, 6-0, 6-1.

Ripon crowned two more doubles champions, too.

In the girls No. 2 doubles tourney, Ripon’s Hailey Johnson and Alyssa Demara opened up by easing past Orestimba’s Ilyssa Chavez and Brenda Flores 6-1, 6-0. They ended up winning the title against Escalon’s Clair Fitzgerald and Mia DeVecchio, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-5.

“That was a really good (championship) match,” coach Mayfield said. “(Johnson and Demara) were even hugging at the end of the match, so they’ll get a plaque.”

Ripon’s Ian Flanders and Nathan Machado will also get a plaque today after winning the cthe boys No. 1 doubles tourney. Flanders and Machado completed an undefeated run through TVL, by capturing the title over Escalon’s Andrew Casillas and Nick Lennon 7-6, 6-2.

Flanders and Machado also eliminated Hughson’s Sean Harcrow and James Green 6-1, 6-2.

In the boys’ No. 2 doubles tourney, Isaiah Sanchez and Davis Armstrong came up short against Modesto Christian’s Derek Cao and Enzo Gomes – who got some revenge so to speak. During both of the Crusaders’ matches against the Indians this year, with the most recent one happening Wednesday, Cao and Gomes were previously 0-2 against the Ripon tandem of Sanchez and Armstrong.

In the girls No. 1 doubles bracket, Shannon Wesley and Maddison Flanders came up shy in their finals match against Escalon’s Maggie Casteel and Taylor Busch – who finished the season undefeated.

Wesley and Flanders lost 6-1, 6-4 in the final, which was following a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Orestimba’s Sheree Lane and Suzie Gutierrez in the semis.

Ripon’s mixed doubles squad of Will Hollingsworth and Teresa Martinez also lost in the finals against an Escalon tandem of Trent DaDalt and Josie Redberg, 6-2, 6-3. This was after Hollingsworth and Martinez avenged a loss earlier in the year and defeated MC’s Santiago Uranday and Olivia Sun, 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Both of the boys and girls singles championships will be decided at the SOS Club this morning, which will be followed by a boys, a girls and a mixed super doubles TVL Tournament that will determine who advances to the SJS Individual Division III Tournament on Thursday. The league will send the boys and the girls individual finalists, along with today’s girls, boys and mixed doubles finalists.