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Buffs end VOL with 14-0 record
TEN--Oakdale-Manteca pic 2
Manteca No. 3 doubles teammates Melissa Poncini and Noeli Mercado celebrate a point. - photo by Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

Manteca finally hit a rough patch during its bid for a second straight 14-0 finish in the Valley Oak League.

Playing four matches in as many days this week, the Buffaloes had to compete without a handful of key players who had other extracurricular activities to attend to or dealt with injuries for the first three. They still managed to shut out their opponents, and on Thursday — back at full strength — the Buffs punctuated another perfect run through league with a 9-0 win over visiting Oakdale.

“It’s unbelievable to have that much depth,” Manteca coach MaryAnn Tolbert said. “To have almost every single place (in the ladder) go undefeated, I’ve never seen that before. We knew going in that only losing two players would leave us strong, but we didn’t anticipate how strong we will be.”

Manteca (14-0, 16-1 overall) has now won 16 straight matches since dropping its pre-league opener against Modesto Metro Conference champion Gregori.

Players and coaches donned pink T-shirts highlighting their back-to-back VOL championships after the win Thursday. They’ve now won four championships in the last six years.

The Buffaloes were so dominant in league that they blew past six opponents by 9-0 scores twice each and twice beat second-place Sierra 8-1, dropping only five sets in the process. They also finished the season undefeated in five of the six singles spots and all three at doubles.

They’ll need the depth as they look to repeat as Sac-Joaquin Section champions with the team tournament beginning Nov. 1, but first is the VOL singles and doubles tournaments next Tuesday and Thursday Oct. 24 and 26 at Oakdale.

Koryn Menasco (6-1, 6-1), Taylor Corona (6-0, 6-2) and Stephanie Mercado (6-0, 6-0) swept their singles matches and were among the five seniors honored before the match. Junior standout Julia Tang toppled Lijian Bucad 6-1, 6-1 in the No.1 singles match.

Makenna Condit defeated Tavin Barry 6-3, 6-3 in the most competitive match of the day. Sahiba Kaur added a 6-0, 6-0 shutout.

Rav Dhillon and Navina Mann rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 doubles win from the No. 1 spot. Julianne Eavenson and Kaileah Johannson won 6-0, 6-2, while Noeli Mercado and Melissa Poncini cruised, 6-2, 6-0.


Lathrop 8, W. Ranch 1

The Spartans swept all three doubles matches to highlight their regular-season finale.

Erica Garlit/Leslie Barraza (6-4, 6-2), Marissa Briseno/Harman Garcha (6-0, 6-0) and Tammy Pham/Kim Bareng (6-1, 6-1) were all victorious.

Lathrop singles players earning wins were Angela Alegado (6-0, 6-1), Tala Alkhatib (7-5, 6-2), Kim Victoria (6-1, 6-1), Darlene Hoang (opponent retired) and Bernice Vilches (6-4, 7-6[4]). Weston Ranch’s Angelee Rivera prevailed 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in No. 5 singles.