As day turned into night, the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II coed team tennis semifinal on Monday came down to the mixed doubles match to determine the winner between No. 3 Amador and host second-seeded Ripon Christian.
The Buffaloes from Sutter Creek escaped with a 5-4 win at the Acacia Park Tennis Courts.
Amador’s Luke Hermanson-Rebecca Wilson won the first mixed doubles set against Alton Mensonides-Tatum Sonke 6-3 before the Knights tandem rebounded to take the second set 6-2. Hermanson-Tatum took the match-deciding third set 6-4, but not without a fight as two of their four points came at deuce.
Mensonides and Tatum are both freshmen.
“These were young players for us out here today,” Knights coach Melody De Abreu said. “Even though they are young and still need to learn strategy, they still almost won. They fought, they did well. They listened to what the assistant coach and I were telling them to do. They came close and the game turned on some close plays.
“This is the first time they have played under the light with a crowd just feet away. They got nervous, but they really fought an incredible game. I think it bettered them, and they will be prepared for next year and what will come. We are so proud — they played an incredible match.”
In the first round last year, it came down to the last match between these two same teams with Ripon Christian pulling out the 5-4 win.
“Last year it came down to the girls singles No. 2,” Amador coach Chris Fuller said. “They were a great team and they got us last time.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match today against a great team. We knew we had our hands full. I was really pleased to come out with the win. Our kids played awesome.”
In singles competition Ripon Christian’s No. 2 boys Drew Meester defeated Myles Newton 6-3, 6-2 and the Knights’ No. 2 girls Ellie Dyt downed Scout Kasinger 6-2, 6-1.
The Ripon Christian doubles teams who won were boys No. 1 Derek Van Elderen-Peter VanderMuelen over Carter Devore-Anthony LaPilusa 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and girls No. 1 Maya De Jong-Ruth Visser over Payton Patterson-Emily Lickiss 6-3, 6-4.
Amador takes on top-seeded Colfax or No. 4 Summerville in the title round Wednesday at Oak Park Tennis Complex in Stockton.