The Los Banos tennis team completed the first step on its postseason journey with Tuesday's 7-2 playoff win against Oakmont, the Capital Valley League's third-place team.
The Tigers now sit in the quarterfinals, where they made it a year ago before falling 7-2 to Rocklin. But Rocklin, along with Sierra Foothill League mates Granite Bay and Del Oro, which comprised three of last year's four semifinal teams, have bumped up to Division I.
"Our goals? We want to go as far as we possibly can," Los Banos coach Lynn Barcellos said. "(My players') ultimate goal is to get to the finals. That's what they said."
LB, which received a first-round bye, now faces Solano County Athletic League's second-place finisher Benicia, a 5-4 winner against Manteca in the second round, on Monday at home.
"We just need to really focus on -- the farther we go, the harder it will get," Barcellos said. "I mean, (Oakmont's) coach thinks we have a really good shot. He's seen the teams up there play, and he says we're very athletic. I hear that all the time."
Los Banos swept the singles matches, all in two-set matches. Elena Erreca, at No. 6 singles, had the closest match in a 7-5, 6-4 win over Shireen Llavarez, while Alexis Barcellos won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1. Nicole Marchese, at No. 3 singles, earned the only double-zero of the day with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Aria Sherazee.
The Tigers' doubles had a tougher time, with all three matches going to a third set. Kelly Younce and Amanda Marchese earned the only win, a 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 win over Rene Phan and Katelyn Geissberger. Oakmont's Maria Mikhaylishin and Kristin Siu earned the No. 1 doubles win, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 over LB's Monique Arretche and Bianca Soares.
"They did very well. I know for the first round they were a little nervous, but overall I think they really did well," Lynn Barcellos said. "Our losses were both third set."
Now the team playoffs go on a short hiatus for the section individual tournament, which will see Alexis Barcellos plus the doubles teams of Christina Soares/Nicole Marchese and Tiffany Liu/Jacquelin Arretche vie for a section title.
But on Monday it's back to the team playoffs, and Los Banos hopes to open some eyes in a section that has a tendency to lean culturally toward the north.
"I would like to make a statement," Barcellos said. "Put us on the map."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org