A Tuesday trip to Riverbank on April 25 didn’t go Escalon’s way on the tennis courts, though the Cougars battled for every point. Host Riverbank won the match by an 8-1 final, with four of the nine matches going to three sets.
“Even though the overall score doesn’t show it, today was a really close match,” said head coach Staci Diaz. “The kids played great; it just didn’t go our way today. Michael Gaines loves a challenge and won his match in three sets. He was really focused and played well.”
Gaines, getting Escalon’s lone match win, topped Jason Montalvo in boys number two singles, 6-0, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2.
Other matches going to three sets for Escalon went in the loss column, Brooklyn Berry battling in number one girls singles, 6-2, 0-6, 4-6; boys number one doubles Jevan Salyer and Jack Fitzgerald falling 1-6, 6-4, 5-7 and the girls number two doubles of Elizabeth Shelley and Mikayla Schut fighting to a 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 8-10 decision.
Then it was off to Trans-Valley League Tournament action, with play on Friday and Saturday at the SOS Club in Modesto.
“Elizabeth Shelley and Mikayla Schut placed second in Girls Doubles number two,” said Diaz of the top performing Cougar duo, coming home with a trophy.
They then lost in the quarterfinals on Saturday, bidding for a place at the Section meet.
Also attempting to qualify for Sections were Michael Gaines and Jevan Salyer in boys doubles, Diaz said, with the duo making it to the semifinals before taking a loss.
Mixed doubles saw Amanda Salvador and Jack Fitzgerald lose in the quarterfinals, girls doubles Courtney Ney and Rachel DeVecchio also lost in the quarterfinals.
“Brooklyn Berry and Tommy Pangan lost in the semifinals. They split sets and played great, and they finished with smiles on their faces,” Diaz said of the two taking the court for mixed doubles play. “I was really proud of them. They played incredible in all their matches this tournament.”
Escalon wrapped up their tennis season with the play at the SOS Club.
“I’m really proud of the entire team for never giving up and playing hard until the very last point,” Diaz said in summing up the campaign. “They are a great group of kids and make every day of tennis so enjoyable. They work hard and never complain. We had a fun season, and I am really excited for next year.”