FAIR OAKS — The Union Mine tennis team served up a strong team-wide effort at the Sierra Valley Conference Tennis Tournament last week at Rollingwood Racquet Club.
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For the sixth time in the last seven years, the D’backs will send an entrant to the Sac Joaquin Section Tournament tomorrow and Friday at the Oak Park Tennis Center in Stockton. Spencer McClain, the No. 4 seed in the boys singles draw, won three consecutive matches in defeating Ryan Palhegyi (Vista) 10-3; Joseph Johnson (River City) 10-5; and overall No. 1 seed Andrew Wall (Cosumnes Oaks) 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the singles final the next day.
In the final, McClain fell to consecutive two-time defending league and Sac Joaquin Section Champion Sandeep Gurram (Vista) 1-6, 1-6.
“We have a history of our players stepping up at the SVC league tournament and Spencer continued that tradition with an outstanding effort,” Union Mine coach Chris Schnaidt said. “In addition to fighting the heat and some cold/allergy issues, he beat players from the three top teams in the league to get to the final. In the match against No. 1 seed Wall, Spencer demonstrated a balance in his game that proved to be very effective. He played steady when needed, made great decisions on when to attack and played the deuce points extremely well. If he is able to continue to play at this high level again this week, I anticipate him making a deep run at the section event.”
Other D’back highlights included overall solid play. First round victories were earned by boys doubles team Mitchell Peaslee-Johnny D’Agostini, girls doubles team Liz Kilkenny-Caitlyn Keane and mixed doubles team Michelle Doyle-Jason Lee.
“Although we were not able to advance to a semi in any of the doubles events, our teams played consistently well. It is great to see the ongoing efforts of our players rewarded with improved play at the tournament,” Schnaidt said.
McClain makes his first trip to the tourney. He joins the list of former Union Mine players including brothers Taylor (3 times) and Connor along with Chandler Bruttig (2 times), Jake Schecter, Machela Melrose, Nick Gwerder and Spencer Bruttig who have all made Section Tournament appearances since 2007.
Results for El Dorado were unavailable.
In the Sierra Delta League, Golden Sierra’s doubles team Daniel Lesher and Casey Blakley won the league banner. Going in, the Grizzly duo was 8-0 and advance to Oak Park.
The two were joined at the league tournament at Miller Park by Chandler Blakley-Tyray Fortune, Emily Alexander-Taylor Eicher, Allie Bachmann-Willow O’Dette and Connor McEntire-Jennifer Ussery.
In singles play, Deo Avalos made it to the second round. Eric Yamzon and Ussery also competed.
Results for the Delta River League Tournament at the Laguna Creek Racquet Club were incomplete. Oak Ridge’s Cole Malibiran finished second in No. 6 singles while Kyle Tomaszewski made it to the No. 5 singles semifinals. Trojan doubles results were unknown.
Ponderosa’s Hunter Portillo (No, 3), Rudy Arocan (No. 4), James Kanzaki (No. 5) and Brandon Kanzaki (No. 6) played in the singles tournament. Portillo and Arocan both won their first-round matches.