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Sierras Rausa closes career as two-time All-Area POY
Sierra Highs Kevin Rausa is the Bulletins All-Area tennis MVP.


Ricky Peloso, East Union Senior: Was East Union’s No. 1 for the duration of the season and helped guide the Lancers to the Valley Oak League championship. Advanced to the second round of the SJS Individual Tournament.


Alex Barragan, Manteca Senior: Teamed up with Xavier Lopez to win the VOL Doubles championship and put together an impressive first-round victory in the SJS Individual Tournament.


Xavier Lopez, Manteca Senior: Paired with Lopez for lengthy postseason run after putting together impressive season as a Manteca singles player. Pulled out 6-2,6-3 win in the SJS Individual Tournament after taking the VOL doubles title.


Chris Garcia, East Union Senior: Was the constant on the Lancers’ doubles platform. Garcia teamed up with three different partners during doubles play during the regular season, only to abandon his partner to win valuable points as a singles player in the Lancers’ first-round SJS Team Tournament win over Benicia.


Max Angelo & Oral Nunis, Manteca: The pair formed an unbeatable team during the VOL doubles play throughout the regular season. Navigated to the semifinals of the VOL Tournament before succumbing to a combination-singles team.


— Jagada Chambers

There is no way the journey can be easy when the end result is an aspiration to be the very best. Bulletin All-Area Tennis Player of the Year Kevin Rausa’s journey clearly wasn’t easy, but for the second consecutive season he remains the area’s best.

Rausa put together another impressive season, closing out his fourth as Sierra High’s No. 1 singles player. He helped cultivate a winning atmosphere around a Timberwolf program that witnessed Rausa make consecutive trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section Individual Tournament.

“From being a freshman up to this year I have improved a lot,” Rausa said. “It’s mostly been in my mental game from playing varsity as a freshman. The mental game is what helped me a lot. I’m sure there’s a lot of other guys that had the better physical game, but my mental game helped me overpower them.”

Rausa made it to the title match of the Valley Oak League Singles Tournament in back-to-back seasons. Yet, for the second year in a row Rausa’s quest to finish as the VOL’s top individual fell short, this time to nationally ranked Kimball High standout Logan Staggs.

A season ago it was at the hands of Ceres High’s Luis Ochoa. Rausa could recollect the unfinished challenges in one of two ways. The Sierra grad is comfortable with his career, and understands that no loss could possibly define his impressive body of work.

“I’ll look back on it and feel that it could have been better,” Rausa said. “But I am proud of what I did and I cannot be sad about that.

“I’ll just have to look at the positives and keep going.”

More direct to Rausa’s heart is his legacy left on Sierra’s tennis program. He vividly remembers his beginning stages on the Sierra tennis courts, envisioning himself in the top-spot long before that fact had become reality.

“That was real important to me,” Rausa said. “I came in here my freshman year and I wanted to be No. 1 right away, and once I got that spot I made sure I would not lose it.

“That was something that was important to me my entire time at Sierra.”

Rausa closed out an illustrious career at Sierra with a postseason berth in the SJS Individual Tournament, ending a singles run that went unchallenged over the past few seasons. He has not officially committed to another program, yet Rausa hopes that his competitive tennis days are not a thing of the past.

“I’m hoping to continue to play in college, I’m going to Fresno State, so we’ll see what happens,” Rausa said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make their squad, but I hope to go and try out and possibly make the team. Tennis is definitely my favorite sport.

“It is one of those things that will never disappear from my life. It’s taught me a lot and it is still continuing to teach me.”