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Manteca comes up short in the foothills
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SONORA — Either heads or tails will determine Manteca’s postseason destiny.

The Buffaloes fell to Sonora, 3-2, in the foothills Thursday afternoon after all three singles matches went the way of the home team.

With the loss, Manteca (11-3 Valley Oak League, 15-9) slipped into a second-place tie with Oakdale, setting up a fateful coin flip to decide which squad will move on to the playoffs.

Arnie Morales and Alex Barragan avenged their only regular season setback with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Daniel Howard and Chris Sanchez.

Kyle Morten and Max Angelo won 6-0, 6-3.

In singles play, Yassen Aniss fell 0-6, 2-6, Marc Leon lost 1-6, 0-6, and Alex McAdams was upended, 1-6, 1-6.

“I have quite a few varsity newcomers this year and Sonora brought back everybody and added an exchange student,” Manteca head coach Frank Fontana said. “Playing them as tough as we did shows how much we’ve improved and how much fight we have.”

The VOL singles tournament started Tuesday at 9 a.m. at East Union.

The doubles event follows Thursday.

East Union 3, Sierra 2
It was a day to celebrate for the Lancers, as East Union picked up its second VOL win over the T’Wolves.

Steve Shepherd picked up a huge win in straight sets (6-1, 6-0) over Connor Millin, who returned for Sierra head coach Arabella Whitlock on short notice after missing the entire regular season recovery from an appendectomy.

Matt Eichsteadt and Chris Garcia beat Forrest Tolman and Wu (Tom) Lin, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, and Tyler Oba and Ricky Peloso downed John Alan Hewitt and Josh Weiland, 6-2, 6-4.

Kevin Rausa topped Sean Hilscher, 6-1, 6-1, and Doug Marks downed Tyler Ward 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, for Sierra’s two points.

“The kids were pretty pumped,” EU head coach Ron Bylow said. “It was great to end the regular season with a win like that. The kids did everything that was asked of them. They’re a good group.”

Whitlock and the Timberwolves, who entered the contest with a makeshift lineup for the second straight outing, weren’t happy to lose, but felt good for the Lancers afterward.

“A loss is a loss,” Whitlock said. “But we had an idea it was probably going to go down the way it did. The kids were happy to see how exciting it was for them. It was a good battle.”

Both EU and Sierra will now gear up for the VOL tournaments.

— Brandon Petersen