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Escalon Tennis Team Splits Trans-Valley League Matches
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Unexpectedly dropping a Trans-Valley League match to Ripon Christian, the Cougar tennis team is taking a much-needed rest this week. They hope to come back strong, bidding for the TVL title.

But they will have their work cut out for them, now with two league losses on their record.

Maybe it was the back-to-back action, or maybe it just wasn't the Cougars' day, but they lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to Ripon Christian on the home court Wednesday. That came after a win Tuesday against Patterson.

The Cougars easily defeated the visiting Tigers in the April 6 match, 6-1.

Winners were Grant Tower, 6-1, 6-0 and Ben Wiele, 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, in boys singles.

"Grant just sort of glided through his match," said coach Dan Thompson. "Ben had kind of a strange second set but he shook it off and won."

Girls singles player Megan McCoid was a 6-2, 6-3 winner. Lone loss of the day for the Cougars came in girls number two singles, with Kate Thompson fighting tough but falling 5-7, 3-6.

Boys doubles saw Rick Drewrey and John-David Brown team for a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

"I'm thrilled with Rick's play as a sophomore and John-David is showing improvement," said Thompson.

Alicia Amarant and Tiffany McGuire took an easy 6-3, 6-0 win off the court in girls doubles and the mixed doubles team of Andy Ward and Kristin Anderson was also a 6-3, 6-0 winner.

"That put our league record at 6-1," said Thompson. "Then we got blindsided by Ripon Christian."

The Cougars hosted the Knights on Wednesday and lost a 4-3 contest.

Tower won his match, Wiele was also a winner and Thompson shut out her opponent in straight sets.

McCoid took a loss and Drewrey and McGuire lost the first set in mixed doubles, came back to win the second, then lost the third set in a tiebreaker.

"That was a lot of pressure to put on a couple of sophomores," Thompson noted.

The girls doubles team of Anderson and Amarant had defeated Ripon Christian earlier in the season but this time the tables were turned, the duo losing in two.

Ward and Dallen Strong teamed for the mixed doubles, losing the first set, winning the second and going to the third knowing the match was for the win or loss.

"I think they felt the pressure of the moment," said Thompson.

The 4-3 loss dropped Escalon to 6-2 in TVL play.

Thursday, they hosted River City in the annual meeting of the two teams, a non-league match.

"They smoked us," Thompson admitted. "This was our annual traditional match with them, it was a real eye-opener for us, all our top players got beat, they just took it to us."

Nearly all players suited up got to play, with several teams of boys, girls and mixed doubles taking the court, along with the traditional singles players.

Of all the matches, played in a 10-game pro set format, only Stephanie Franklin - in her first competitive match - and Breanne Cardoza came away with a win, playing girls doubles.

The Wednesday and Thursday team losses were uncharacteristic of the Cougars, and Thompson said spring break came at a good time for his players.

"Hopefully, we'll shake off all these losses, get back with the program," he said.