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Sierra squeaks past Ceres in section opener
No. 2 doubles team comes through for deciding point
Kelsey Wells returns a tough shot from the baseline during Sierras pivotal No. 2 doubles match with visiting Ceres on Monday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

The Sierra High girls tennis team’s postseason run rested on the shoulders of its No. 2 doubles tandem of Barbara Baxter and Kelsey Wells.

With all eyes on the final match, the Timberwolf duo clutched up for a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 win over Ceres’ Gabby Blandino and Laura Cahill. The overall 5-4 victory catapults Sierra into today’s second-round matchup with McClatchy in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II team tournament.

“I am very proud of everyone’s fight and determination,” said Sierra coach Vanessa Wells. “Everyone competed very well.”

Sierra, which improved to 16-4 overall, needed another three-set result to fall its way in singles. That came from Maddie Banks, who edged out Kiran Kainth 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in the No. 4 contest. That gave the Timberwolves a 4-3 advantage at the time, leaving it up to the Baxter-Wells combo or the No. 3 team of Liana Bassett and Simran Thind.

Bianca Deanda and Angelica Slater kept the visiting Bulldogs in the running with their 7-5, 6-2 win over Bassett-Thind.

Naomi Nunis won the competitive No. 2 singles match against Kaylee Donovan, 7-5, 6-2. Anna Cardenas took out Manpreet Bahia, 6-3, 6-0. Brenda Padilla and Emma Hunter, Sierra’s top doubles duo, coasted past Justine and Jolyce Vega, 6-1-6-0.

Valley Oak League singles champion Vannida Nguyen battled tough in her 2-6, 1-6 loss to Marifer Ochoa. Annie Banks (2-6, 4-6) and Rosie Reynolds (4-6, 4-6) also dropped competitive matches.

Sierra, the No. 2 team out of the VOL, squares off with Metropolitan Conference champion McClatchy in Sacramento today starting at 2 p.m.