OAKDALE — It was almost an all-Manteca final in the Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament at Oakdale High on Thursday.
Instead, the civil war will take place next Monday at Manteca, and it will be for third place and the last available berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Tournament.
The Buffaloes’ No. 1 tandem of Kyle Thornburg and Si Hao Tang will meet teammates Yok Eyh Ma and Dhillion Patel starting at 3 p.m. Tang and Patel lost to eventual champions Connor Fenton and Sam Nicolson of Central Catholic in the semifinals, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6. Thornburg and Tang also dropped their semifinal in three sets, falling to Kimball’s Ivan Acosta and Josh Linsangan, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 4-6.
Fenton and Nicholson prevailed in the championship round, 7-5, 7-5.
“Between our top two doubles teams we just couldn’t win those deuce points,” Manteca coach Frank Fontana said. “And in matches this close they make all the difference.”
Manteca’s third doubles team of Lenard Gutierrez and Matt Pabla advanced to the quarterfinals, where they fell 1-6, 1-6 to Kimball’s runner-up duo. East Union’s No. 1 Kyle Niendorf and Jake Kramer and No. 3 Gerardo Romero and Hector Romero also reached the third round.
The SJS Division II Tournament takes place May 5-6 at the Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville. Manteca freshman Solman Aniss already has his ticket punched after placing third in the VOL Singles Tournament.