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Short day for local qualifiers in section tourneys
Southern League boys singles champion Jake Van Vuren was one of four Ripon Christian players to compete in the Sac-Joaquin Section Coed Tournament in Stockton on Thursday. - photo by GARY JENSEN/

The Trans-Valley and Southern League boys singles champions were one and done in the Sac-Joaquin Section Coed Tennis Tournament at Oak Park in Stockton on Thursday.

Manteca High’s Division II Tournament qualifiers also had a short day at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville but has its Division III semifinal team match to look forward to on Monday.

The only area players to win a match were Ripon’s girls doubles tandem of Alli Hickman and Sami Hyer, who swept a pair from Highlands in the opening round. They then dropped a three-set match to a team from Rosemont. 

TVL champion Bryce Coutrakis lost in straight sets to Dixon’s Hunter Bradac.

“We’re losing 11 seniors this year, and those three are part of that group,” Ripon coach Robert Mayfield said. “This is my fourth year coaching, and Bryce is only one of three players on the team who has been on the team for all four years. It was special to see him get to this point in the season.

“For Sami and Alli this is only their second year of playing tennis, so it was kind of neat to have them make it to the section tournament.”

Ripon Christian had two boys singles players compete in the coed tourney. SL titlist Jake Van Vuren and runner-up Nick Van Vliet were both swept, while Avery Veilleux and Hannah Lockwood lost in three after claiming the opening set.

Coach Mark Hoeksema said that some good came out of the tournament for his Knights, who head to Riverbank next Monday for a quarterfinal matchup with TVL champ Riverbank.

“We got to do a little scouting for our team opponent,” Hoeksema said. “They’re going to be tough that’s for sure. One of their girls doubles teams is seeded No. 1 for the (individual) tournament, so we’re going to have our hands full.”

In Roseville, Manteca had its top singles player and two doubles teams compete against stiff competition. 

Freshman Solmon Aniss, the third-place finisher out of the Valley Oak League, lost to River Valley’s Jacob Farmer 1-6, 2-6 in the first round.

“Even though Solmon lost, it was a great experience for him as a freshman,” Manteca coach Frank Fontana said. “Now he has an understanding of the level of play at the section level in singles.”

Yok-Eyh Ma and Dhillon Patel drew the No. 3 duo Danny Franz and Spencer Summerhays from Rio Americano and were defeated, 3-6, 3-6.

“Our guys played really well in this match,” Fontana said. 

Kyle Thornburg and Si Hao Tang got to compete with Kimball’s VOL second-place team dropping out. They lost to Pioneer’s Daniel Garcia and Alex Lopez, 2-6, 2-6.

“We looked doubles rusty,” Fontana said. “These two haven’t played a set of doubles since the league tournament. We have been working on singles since this is what they play.”

Getting additional court time against stiff competition was the most important thing to Fontana. Next Monday the Buffaloes take on top-seeded River City of West Sacramento in the semifinal round of the Division III team tennis tournament.

“Overall, it was a great experience and good to play some solid players before the team tournament next Monday,” Fontana said. “Our goal is also about team success. Yes we want to do well in individual competition, but the team is the primary focus.