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Doubles Tandem Takes Third In VOL Tennis
10-31 OAK Tennis1
Nicole Dickens lofts a shot over the net during a third-place run through the VOL doubles tournament. - photo by Jonamar Jacinto/The Leader

It doesn’t take a seed to make something grow.

The Oakdale High doubles tandem of Francesca Orvis and Nicole Dickens proved that fact on Oct. 25 by stunning the conference field with a 4-1 stanza through the Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament to finish third.

Orvis and Dickens entered the tournament without a top-8 seed, but dropped two seeded opponents enroute to a thrilling finish just one placement shy of advancement to the 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Individual Playoffs.

The pair beat a Kimball collection 8-4 to land a second-round match with the imposing No. 8 seed represented by Weston Ranch’s top two singles players, Chelsea Olitan and Delanne Barut. The two Weston Ranch players had landed a 3-1 combined record against Oakdale’s No. 1 and 2 singles players in 2012, but couldn’t stay with Orvis and Dickens in a thrilling 9-8 Oakdale win to advance the local pair to the tournament quarterfinals.

With elimination on the line, Orvis and Dickens only stepped their game up, stunning the tournament’s No. 2 seed Emma Hunter and Brenda Padilla (of Sierra) with 6-4, 6-2 victories.

The victory advanced the pair to an unlikely semifinal appearance, where they hit a brick wall in Manteca’s Noha Elabed and Wendy Lin, the eventual tournament champions. A loss to the Manteca pair dropped the girls to a third place showdown with Kimball’s No. 1 and 2 singles players, Kylie Moxley and Viel Salganno. Moxley and Salganno had gone 3-1 against Oakdale in the regular season.

Oakdale had two other teams in the tournament, both who made the championship quarterfinals. Kalkidan Curtis and Katie Odom, typically Oakdale’s No. 1 and 2 singles players, made waves by upsetting No. 1 seed Kalie Hunt and Liz Diaz of Manteca, who had gone undefeated throughout the entire VOL season. The Oakdale pair ultimately finished 2-1 in the tournament after falling to Moxley and Salganno in the quarters.

Oakdale’s No. 1 doubles team of Taylor Kelly and Alyssa Perigen was seeded third in the tournament and saw a first round bye before ousting a pair from Lathrop to reach the quarters. There, the duo was dispatched by Sierra’s Anna Cardenas and Naomi Nunis, the eventual runner-up finishers in the tourney.

Oakdale was at Capital Athletic League No. 3 seed, Whitney, on Monday in the first round of the SJS D-II team playoffs. Results were not available at press time.