Most Viewed Stories
Honkers' Lee goes undefeated at SVL championships
LIVE OAK - Michael Lee won the Sacramento Valley League individual title for the second year in a row but Live Oak High dominated the all-league selections with a strong tournament showing on Friday.
All the competitors had their sights set on Lee, the Willows High ace, but none could topple the soft-spoken senior. Lee faced his toughest challenge in the championship match against the host Lions' Daljot Singh, but he overcame a second set loss to win 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
"I felt confident," Lee said, despite the bulls eye on his back and playing seven matches in two days.
Lee teamed up with Steve Vang in doubles and swept through the competition for the title, beating Singh and Edgar Yanez 6-0, 6-2 in the championship match.
Lee earned the chance to play in the Northern Section Championships on Monday and Tuesday for singles and will be joined by Vang for doubles, but all the rest of the SVL representatives hail from Live Oak.
Vang made the all-league team but fell just shy of advancing to the section championships in singles. Vang won his first match 6-2, 6-0 against Live Oak's Michael Catbagan but lost a close match to the Lions' Jesus Medina 6-4, 7-5, and Junaid Abid beat him 6-0, 7-5 in an out-bracket match.
Willem Poldervaart, Gilberto Madrigal and Jose Jauregui each went 1-1 during the singles tournament for the Honkers.
Hunter Thompson and Tou Xiong beat Live Oak's Abid and Inderjit Singh in the first round of the doubles bracket 7-6, 6-1 but lost their next match to Colusa's Jordan Wilson and Moises Valdez 6-3, 6-1. Poldervaart and Connor Pieper won their play-in match 8-4 before losing in the next round.
The Lions' Manvir Chahal and Jesus Medina defeated the RedHawks' Wilson and Valdez 6-0, 7-5 in the third- place match of the doubles bracket to earn the rights to the final doubles spot in the section championships.
Valdez had a bye in the first round of the singles bracket but overcame a slow start to win his first match before losing to Live Oak's Abid 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the single-elimination tournament, just missing all-league in singles.
The tournament format pitted Valdez against the unknown after spending the regular season as the RedHawks No. 2 player.
"It's weird and different than before, because the people I played I hadn't seen play before," Valdez said.
RedHawks freshman Jack Zhao won his first-round match against Live Oak's Inderjit Singh 8-3 and gave the Lions' No. 2 Edgar Yanez a good battle before losing 6-2, 6-4. Freshman Diego Rivas won a play-in match against Mercy's Minson Cha 8-3 before losing to Live Oak's Chahal 8-1.
Mercy High's Nino Modar made an inspired run in the singles bracket winning his first three matches before losing to Yanez in the semifinals to become the Warriors' lone representative on the All-SVL team. Modar beat teammate Isaac Williams in a marathon match 7-6, 0-6, 6-4 in the second round to claim the all-league spot.
The 16-year-old exchange student from Switzerland said it was difficult playing against a teammate but Williams' calm demeanor helped him stay relaxed.
"It was harder because I didn't want to cheer too much because it is a teammate, it felt more like a practice match," he said.
The match was Modar's third of the day after winning a play-in match, but it was Williams' first after earning two byes for his performance at the Warriors' No. 1 player during the regular season.
Mercy's Dennis Doan beat Willows' Gilberto Madrigal 8-3 in the first round before losing to the eventual champion Lee 6-1, 6-0. Doan and teammate Adil Syed beat Colusa's Rivas and Christian Munguia 8-1 before losing to Willows' Thompson and Xiong 7-6, 6-1 in the second round.
Live Oak will send Singh, Yanez, Medina and Chahal to the section championships, and all four made the All-SVL team. Chahal beat Abid for the fifth and final spot in the section championships but Abid made the All-SVL team, giving the Lions five of the eight players on the team.
Willows finished second in the SVL and played Orland High on Tuesday in the team playoffs. Live Oak went undefeated in league and played Sutter High on Tuesday.
Contact Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.