Manteca treated its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III opener like any other match on Tuesday.
It ended quickly, much like all others so far this season. The three-time reigning Valley Oak League champion trounced Western Athletic Conference runner-up Ceres, 9-0.
“They came out with the mindset that it was business as usual and they took care of business,” Manteca coach MaryAnn Tolbert said. “We try to treat every one like it’s routine.”
The second-seeded Buffaloes (17-0) are a win away from reaching a third straight SJS final. They’re not looking that far ahead yet, said No. 4 singles player Makenna Condit — one of four four-year players on the team. They’ll welcome No. 3 El Capitan of Merced next Monday.
“Everyone has the end goal at the beginning of the year to finish at the top, but you have to take it one step at a time and this is one that we needed,” Condit said. “We can’t get to that without today. That was important for us to focus on today and not look forward.
“This is a team that made playoffs and we need to recognize that and do our best to get it done.”
Condit did her part with a 6-1, 6-0 sweep of Tania Garfias.
In other singles matches: No. 1 Julia Tang defeated Shania Evans, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 Sahiba Kaur beat Vivian Moreno, 6-1, 6-0; No. 3 Ellie Kim shut out Camille Vega, No. 5 Navina Mann blanked Gurmenjit Bahia and No. 6 Kerren Zou ousted Jillian Jimenez, 6-1, 6-0.
The No. 1 doubles contest was the most competitive, for as long as it lasted, as Noeli Mercado and Melissa Poncini swept Morgan Bejaran and Christel Ontiveros, 6-2, 6-2. Yanki Ma and Kalissa Martin took out Jasmine Bahia and Monica Esparza, 6-1, 6-1. Isabella Huerta and Danielle Diaz secured the clean sheet with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Elena Ochoa and Germannet Bahia.
The semifinal match with El Capitan begins at 2 p.m. and marks the career home finale for the Buffaloes’ seniors.
“It’s so crazy,” Condit said. “I never that that I would be a tennis player going into high school, let alone getting to this stage. It’s bittersweet to come this far and it will definitely be an emotional match for me. I’m going to go in, work hard and hopefully leave my mark.”