Manteca’s girls tennis team begins its quest for a third Sac-Joaquin Section Division III banner in four years next Monday.
The Buffaloes (19-1) were awarded the No. 1 seed after winning their fourth consecutive Valley Oak League title and beating reigning SJS Division I champion Rocklin 5-4 in a tune-up match. They’ll face No. 8 Merced starting at 1:30 p.m.
Sacramento schools Christian Brothers and Mira Loma are the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds. Mira Loma had the top seed last season when it lost to then-No. 2 Manteca 5-4 in the title round.
Also on Monday, Sierra opens the Division IV tennis playoffs, while Ripon’s boys and girls water polo teams begin postseason action later in the week.
Sierra’s tennis team returns to the postseason after missing out last year on a coin flip. The Timberwolves tied with Oakdale for third spot in the VOL and got the right side of the coin to fall in their favor this time.
Two years ago, they advanced to the Division IV final but lost 5-4 to Vista del Lago. Sierra will have to hit the road to make it back. Seeded seventh, the T’wolves take on No. 2 Mountain House (15-0), the Western Athletic Conference champion.
VOL runner-up Central Catholic tops the Division IV bracket and is the defending champion. The Raiders rolled past Kimball, another VOL school, 7-2.
Ripon’s girls water polo team (18-5) makes its first postseason appearance Thursday, Nov. 7. The second-seeded VOL champion welcomes No. 7 Amador at Ervin Zador Aquatic Center. Sonora (21-6) is the two-time defending champion and No. 1 seed, while VOL runner-up Kimball — also a two-time titlist — occupies the third spot.
Start time for first-round games is either 3:30 or 5:30 p.m. The Division III girls semifinals take place next Tuesday at Johansen High in Modesto.
The Indians boys (9-10) travel to No. 3 Sonora (12-10) on Friday. It’s a rematch of the 2015 Division III Final won by Ripon, 13-3. It was also the start of three straight runner-up finishes for Sonora. El Capitan and VOL champion Sonora, a finalist a year ago, are the top two seeds.
The winners will meet at Tokay of Lodi next Wednesday. Boys and girls finals are set for Saturday, Nov. 17 at Roseville Aquatic Complex.