WEST SACRAMENTO — Down a starting player, Sierra nearly pulled off an upset in its 5-4 loss to Tri-County Conference champion River City in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs on Tuesday.
The Timberwolves (12-4) checked in as the third-seeded team from the Valley Oak League despite tying Oakdale for second place. A coin flip determined seeding, and by losing it Sierra drew a tough opening-round match. Oakdale, meanwhile, got to post Western Athletic Conference runner-up Patterson on Tuesday and won, 7-2. The Mustangs head to River City for the semifinals next Monday.
“The coin flip really hurt us, but it is what it is,” second-year Sierra coach Ed Melfort said. “Our team isn’t used to playing in these big matches because we haven’t been very successful lately, but our girls fought hard.”
“It’s amazing that we were that close with one of our players missing today. I’m proud of the girls.”
Sierra split the singles matches but dropped two in doubles.
Kaitlyn Rausa outlasted River City’s Mallory Snaer 3-6, 7-5, 10-6 in the No. 1 singles match. No. 2 Claire Banks swept Kari Tran 6-1, 6-0, and No. 4 Nadia Petrovic defeated Somner Alex, 6-3, 6-4. Banks and Petrovic will compete as doubles partners Thursday in the SJS Division II Individual Tournament in Roseville. Rausa will also be there as a singles player.
Sierra got its final point from the No. 3 doubles team of Natlie Rootsaert and Sophia Gunzon, who dispatched Mikaela Firmacion and Chloe Love, 6-2, 6-3.