Modesto Junior College’s Symone Jacques, weary after three long days of competition, reached the State Championships tennis semifinals before she finally met her match.
San Diego Mesa’s Danielle Garrido, the eventual champion, handed Jacques her only loss of the season 6-2, 6-0 Saturday, at Ojai Athletic Club. Those were the only sets dropped this season by Jacques (17-1). She and doubles partner Kaitlyn Mayfield (15-1), also unbeaten going into the weekend, won two matches before falling in the quarterfinals.
Jacques, top-seeded in the North, was the only NorCal player to reach the semifinals. Her quarterfinals victory, a punishing 7-5, 6-1 decision over 15th-seed Srna Lepchevska of Santa Monica, took 2 1/2 hours. Jacques had only about a 30-minute rest before the semifinals.
“I didn’t even have time to re-apply my sunscreeen,” Jacques said.
Garrido, who doesn’t play doubles, has not dropped a set in two seasons. Jacques tried to buy some time by lofting high lobs, but Garrido handled them without error.
“She (Jacques) seemed a little tired from her first match,” Garrido said. “She’s a lefty, so there was a little weird lefty spin on the ball.”
17-1 Symone Jacques’ season record
Jacques, a Beyer High graduate who transferred to MJC after spending only one month at Westmont College, tried to become the first MJC player to win a state title since Christine Van Regenmorter in 1995.
“It was a mentally and physically tough match,” Jacques said. “Danielle had quicker movement on the court than I did.”
On Sunday, Garrido defeated Orange Coast’s Clarissa Colling for her second straight state title. The champion did not drop a set in two years.
Jacques vows to return and pursue her goal one more time.
“Even though I didn’t get what I wanted, it gives me a perspective about how good the players are from the South,” she said. “I still want to see where tennis takes me. You’ll be seeing me again.”
Mayfield, a sophomore, will transfer to Sacramento State.
Clutch win for Stanislaus – The Warriors celebrated Senior Day with arguably their biggest win in years, an 8-6 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay as more than 300 watched at Warrior Field. Stanislaus (31-15, 20-14) clinched its first berth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament since 2009 by taking three out of four over the Otters.
“To see these seniors get better and better each year and to see them rewarded for their hard work was special,” Stanislaus coach Kenny Leonesio said. “They learned what it took to take the next step. That experience was the big difference.”
A five-run first inning – featuring RBI singles by Gino Franceschetti and Cameron Irinaga and sacrifice flies by Adam Nascimento and Kert Woods – made life easier for starter Stewart Alexander (7-3). The junior allowed only one run on six hits in seven innings.
A solo homer in the fourth by Kyle Nixon (3-for-4) increased the lead to 7-1. Monterey Bay caused anxiety by scoring five in the ninth, however, and had the go-ahead run at the plate before Jarrett Veiga got the game-ending strikeout.
The Warriors bounced back from a 14-6 loss Saturday to Monterey Bay – which snapped a nine-game winning streak – by winning the nightcap 6-3 Stanislaus took over sole possession of second place in the North Division with four games left next weekend at Cal State East Bay.
Season-ending slugfest – The Pirates (5-19, 9-27) ended their season with a wild 15-13 loss at Sierra (13-11, 24-16). It was the ninth straight loss for Modesto, which led 3-0 before the Wolverines scored 12 runs in the third inning. MJC answered with seven in the fifth to tie but Sierra gradually pulled away.
Anthony Arredondo had three hits and two RBIs for Modesto while Mason Washington drove in three, Logan Coe went 3-for-4 and Nolen Legan was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Randolph returns for Warriors – Stanislaus State All-American Gary Randolph, who suffered a broken foot in competition Feb. 25, placed sixth in the shot put (49 feet, 9 inches) in his return at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational at Cal. The Warriors’ Ryan Pust cleared 15-11 in the pole vault and won for the third time this season.
The CCAA Championships will be held next week at Chico State.
Stolen base record – Nicolette Vizcaino broke the school stolen base record during Stanislaus’ season-ending 12-7 and 7-3 losses to UC San Diego at Warrior Field. Vizcaino finished the season with 39 stolen bases.
Alexus Martinez went 6-for-8 with two RBIs over the doubleheader for Stanislaus (23-22, 13-27).