Los Banos High’s top two singles tennis players, Nicole Marchese and Jacquelin Arretche, were disappointed after falling out of the Western Athletic Conference singles bracket before making the final, which would qualify them for the Sac-Joaquin Section tournament.
But the pair joined forces on Thursday to win three matches in the league’s doubles tournament, qualifying for the championship as well as the section doubles tournament at Del Rio Golf and Country Club in Modesto.
“They’re pretty happy,” Los Banos coach Lynn Barcellos said. “They play really well together.”
The duo defeated a team from Patterson in the first round, then faced teammates Taylor Harris and Bianca Soares in the quarterfinals, defeating their fellow Tigers 6-3, 6-4.
“It was hard for them to play each other,” Barcellos said, adding that Harris and Soares were happy to play their teammates so close. Marchese and Soares then defeated a Central Catholic team in the semifinals to move on to the championship match (results of the late match were unavailable at press time).
The doubles team of Elena Erreca and Monique Arretche took another Central Catholic team to a third set before falling in the quarterfinals, setting up an all-CC semifinal to decide the other finals team.
At the singles tournament on Monday, Marchese entered as the third seed. She defeated Ceres’ Angelica Slater 6-0, 6-0 and Central Valley’s Emely Amaya 6-0, 6-3 before losing to Central Catholic’s Payton Kelley 6-2, 6-3. Arretche defeated CC’s Emma Withrow 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0 in the first round, then dropped her quarterfinal match 6-0, 6-0 to top-seeded Marifer Ochoa of Ceres. LB’s third entry, Erreca, lost to Kelly in the first round.
“Jacquelin played really well. She played, in the first round, the girl she lost to twice, and she beat her,” Barcellos said. “I just think that she had more confidence. She was hitting the ball a lot better, and she was being patient. They were having some really long rallies, and Jacquelin tends to be impatient and wants to get the point over.”
Pacheco’s Irian Islas and Jackie Carranza both lost in the first round.
Ochoa won the singles championship on Thursday by forfeit when Kelley left for vacation.
LB’s Marchese, Arretche and Erreca were named to the All-WAC team. Ceres’ Ochoa was named league MVP. LB’s Marelee Garcia and Amanda Marchese were named doubles co-MVPs.