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Doubles team clinches East Unions victory
East Union No. 2 singles player Ashley Duenas fires a shot back to Manteca’s Lexi Ziakas Tuesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Coach Julia Bylow’s focus was split between her No. 2 doubles pair of Ciara Jones and Kim Paulson and top singles player Megan McCleary.

Either of these matches was going to decide East Union’s Valley Oak League match with visiting Manteca Tuesday.

Jones and Paulson took the pressure off McCleary with a come-from-behind, three-set victory (1-6, 7-5, 6-4) over Airenne Curry and Valerie Monarrez.
The win propelled East Union’s 3-2 triumph that avenged its Sept. 8 loss to Manteca in the first round of conference action. The Buffaloes claimed the first match, 8.5-6.5.

“I was going back and forth between the two matches and pulling out my hair,” Bylow said. “I was really proud of the girls as a whole today. I felt like we won a mental battle.”

McCleary and Manteca’s Jasmine Sandhu were the last two standing, and it was Sandhu that claimed the three-set marathon with the dwindling daylight becoming an issue. McCleary was in the driver’s seat in the deciding set, holding onto a 5-4 lead at one point. Sandhu won 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 and 7-1 in the tiebreaker.

Hilary Coleman accounted for Manteca’s other point with her own three-set victory (6-0, 2-6, 6-2) over Olivia Tanguileg.

Klasey Kachalkin and Shalane Jackson edged Amy Kaur and Allison Tolman 6-3, 7-5 in No. 1 doublesfor East Union (5-7). Ashley Duenas defeated Lexi Ziakas, 6-4, 6-1.

Ceres 4, Sierra 1

In Ceres, Sierra (7-4) missed out on its chance to close in on the undefeated Bulldogs. The Timberwolves’ still-unbeaten doubles tandem of Jena Anderson and Stephanie Vanni notched the only victory with a 6-4, 6-0 win.

— Jonamar Jacinto