Manteca carried the frustrations of two close losses to Central Catholic into the season, using it as motivation to return to championship form.
The throne belongs to the Buffaloes once again, and on Thursday they punctuated an impressive regular season with one final reminder of how dominant their 2016 run has been in the Valley Oak League. Manteca finished 14-0 after its 8-1 clobbering of visiting Oakdale, the co-runner-up along with Sierra.
“After losing to Central Catholic twice and barely coming in second it set us on fire,” Manteca junior Koryn Menasco said. “We wanted to beat them so bad this year. I felt like that was our main focus, but then when we did we wanted the whole thing. We wanted to go farther.
“As a team we deserved this,” she added.
Menasco toppled Carley Newbill 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 2 singles match. Her only losses in league were to Sierra’s Claire Banks, who took second in the VOL Singles Tournament last year. Menasco was part of the championship doubles team.
Manteca (16-1 overall) owns three of the league’s last five VOL titles, with the previous two going to Central Catholic. Fourth-year senior Gladis Sandoval is the only Buffalo remaining from the 2013 team. Then a reserve doubles player, she has worked her way up the ladder to the No. 5 singles spot. On Thursday, she defeated Maddie Brewer, 6-2, 6-1.
“As a senior it’s more meaningful to me,” Sandoval said. “I really wanted it this year. I wanted to finish strong.”
No. 6 singles player Makenna Condit (6-1, 6-1) and No. 1 doubles partners Rav Dhillon and Navina Mann (6-1, 6-3) ended with perfect regular-season records. Sophomore Julia Tang (6-1, 6-2) and Stephanie Mercado (6-2, 6-1) contributed points in singles play. Julianne Eavenson and Noeli Mercado won 7-5, 6-2, and in the final match of the day No. 3 doubles players Monica Lazono and Prerna Singh held off Breanna Morgan and Tayla Barry, 6-4, 7-5.
Tay Talamentes beat Taylor Corona 6-3, 6-2 to account for the lone point for Oakdale (11-3).
Manteca hosts the VOL singles and doubles tournaments next Tuesday and Thursday. The Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs begin with an out-bracket match on Nov. 3.
“We want to go all the way,” Sandoval said. “We want to get rings.”
Sierra 9, Kimball 0
No. 4 singles player Katarina Malabanan helped preserve the shutout with a hard-fought 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 12-10 win over Kimball’s Tiffany Dequit at the Manteca Regional Tennis Center.
Kaitlyn Rausa outlasted Maxine Jaque in the battle of No. 1s. Claire Banks (6-0, 6-3), Nadia Petrovic (6-0, 6-0), Carly Cunial (6-2, 6-1) and Sydney Huynh (6-4, 6-1) also swept.
Sierra’s doubles points came from Krista Harris/Alejandra Pacheco (6-4, 6-2), Luisa Hunter/Natlie Rootsaert (6-1, 6-3) and Alyssa Patterson/Sophia Guzon (6-0, 6-4).
The Timberwolves (11-3) are heading to the team playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Weston Ranch 6, Lathrop 3
STOCKTON — Two competitive three-set matches decided this regular-season finale in Weston Ranch’s favor.
At No. 4 singles, Jasdeep Hothi came back to down Beatrice Vilches, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Later, No. 1 doubles teammates Eona DeGuzman and Jennifer Kainth staved off Bernice Vilches and Maya Ortiz, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6. Other winners for the Cougars were No. 1 singles Jaskirat Kaur (6-3, 6-1), Mahlet Belay (7-5, 6-2), Erica Carlson (6-4, 6-3) and No. 3 doubles Carly Burks and Karman Basra (6-3, 6-1).
Lathrop got its Angela Alegado (6-3, 6-3), Eden Baca (6-0, 6-4) and No. 2 doubles Erica Garlit and Marissa Briseno, 6-3, 7-5.