SACRAMENTO — Sierra secured its spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title round on Wednesday with a convincing 6-3 victory over Greater Sacramento League champion Florin.
The Timberwolves iced this one much sooner than their 5-4 nail-biter at Mountain House on Monday. Mountain House, the two-time defending Western Athletic Conference titlist, was up 4-2 at one point before Sierra posted three three-set victories in the marathon opener. It came down to the No. 3 doubles.
“It was a little calmer today,” Sierra coach Ed Melfort said. “We won some matches pretty easily early on and just like that we’re up 5-0. Everybody competed a lot better. In our last match there were a few players who probably didn’t give it their all, but today was a complete team victory.”
They’re rewarded with another chance to win a section crown after coming up short in their first-ever final-round appearance two years ago. They’ll see a familiar foe next Tuesday in Central Catholic, the reigning SJS Division IV champion and Valley Oak League rival that edged them twice 5-4 in the regular season.
VOL singles champion Kaitlyn Rausa blanked Jackie Calona on Wednesday, while Nos. 2 and 5 Nadia Petrovic and Jasmine Sebastian contributed 6-0, 6-0 shutouts of their own. At No. 1 doubles, Kendall Sellers and Victoria Zellener swept Tanya De Latorre and Hien Ngo 6-1, 6-3.
No. 3 singles Melanie Nguyen was the clincher, as she defeated Yvonne Wu 6-3, 6-2 while battling an illness.
“Melanie was huge,” Melfort said. “She told me before the match that she wasn’t feeling well and I said her health is most important. She insisted on at least trying and toughed it out against a good player.”
Caitlin Morrow and Brianna Villalobos, who came through for the dramatic win on Monday, won another three-setter 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 against Julia Songchalee and Myra Ea.
Sierra’s three losses were all competitive, two of which ended with 10-point tiebreakers with the overall match already decided: Sydney Trump fell short 4-6, 5-7 at No. 6 singles against Celyne Duong, No. 4 Livleen Kaler was edged 4-6, 7-5, 8-10 by Florin’s Tracey Tran, and No. 2 doubles Bianca Dunga and Varsha Bala lost to Tayyaba Akhtar and Donan Wu, 5-7 (5), 6-2, 9-11.
The championship match takes place next Tuesday at a site yet to be determined.