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Netters Nail Down Another TVL Tennis Title
Defeating Modesto Christian for the second time this past week guaranteed Escalon's tennis team first place honors in the Trans-Valley League.

It marks another TVL championship for coach Dan Thompson, who has guided the Cougars to an incredible 50-0 in league play over the last five seasons.

"There's a lot of interest right now in tennis," Thompson said. "We have a lot of siblings playing."

The stability of the Cougar program has seen students graduate, only to be replaced on the team by players of equal caliber, often younger siblings.

Thompson said that figures in to the steady, successful squad, which has taken eight TVL crowns and three Section titles during his tenure. Even outside of school, there has been success, such as coach Thompson and Jack Berry each winning titles in their respective age groups at a recent Oak Park Tournament.

"This is my tenth year coaching and in that time, we have eight TVL losses," Thompson said. "We just have a lot of family involvement, a lot of support."

Escalon clinched the TVL title with a 6-3 win over Modesto Christian on the road Tuesday, April 12.

Parker Pilati won at girls singles, Jack Berry and Zach Mando were both winners in boys singles. Boys doubles each got a win, first girls doubles Presli Pilati and Megan Faria took their match, with losses coming at second girls singles, second girls doubles and the mixed doubles.

Thompson said MC is a tough opponent, matching up well against the Cougars.

Friday against Hughson it was a 9-0 sweep for Escalon to put the exclamation point on a 10-0 TVL campaign. Juggling the lineup a bit, Rafael Felix was a winner at boys singles, Shay Beam and Ashley Lima teamed in girls doubles, as did Mary Merseth and Hailey Metzler, Kyle Rose and Ian Fitzgerald took a boys double match win with the mixed doubles shaking things up by pairing Michelle Pinasco and Zach Mando, taking a win.

In between league play, the Cougars were home to host West Campus in a non-league contest and they took a loss, the only two wins coming from sisters Presli and Parker Pilati at girls singles.

"All the scores were close, I wasn't disappointed at all in the loss because everybody battled and it could have gone either way," Thompson said.

The Cougars could see West Campus down the line in Section play and having played them once could prove to be an advantage.

In league, the Cougars were a perfect 10-0, topping second place MC, which finished at 8-2.

The TVL tournament kicks off today, Wednesday, April 12 at the SOS Club in Modesto.