TEAMS TO WATCH: Modesto has dominated the MMC, and there's no reason to think that's going to change. It returns eight starting players from a team that advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal, a list that includes All-Stanislaus District selection Jeffrey Solomon, a three-year captain who was 14-1 in conference as a junior, and Brian Casey (15-0 in doubles in MMC). The Panthers will have to overcome the loss of their top two singles, but the depth provided by Kanshik Bangalore (15-0 in MMC) and Nick Lowe (15-0 at No. 1 doubles) should help fill the slots. ... Defending VOL champ Manteca won the prestigious Clovis Tournament earlier this season and has the top singles player in returning MVP Mostafa Aniss. The Buffs had the league's top doubles teams a year ago -- the unbeaten duos of Beto Lopez-Juan Lugo and David Shaefer-Joey Aprile -- but they'll likely play some singles this year. Coach Frank Fontana put together the district's most demanding schedule, with the goal of being playoff-ready.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Doug Azevedo was Beyer's No. 2 singles player a year ago, and fourth in the MMC, but is going up this season. ... Davis returns its top player in senior Bernard Cacho. ... Downey's Calvin Goreal is looking to boost last year's 8-7 record. ... Ceres soph Luis Ochoa returns at No. 1 singles, and Mike Hundal gives the Bulldogs a solid 1-2 punch. ... Valerie Cormier was the TVL's No. 2 singles player a year ago, and the Modesto Christian soph is part of a solid co-ed team.