High School Notes: Johansen, Modesto hit tees with MMC on line

The Modesto Metro Conference golf championship could be decided today when Johansen High faces crosstown rival Modesto at Modesto Muni Golf Course.

The Vikings (12-1) feature two of the Stanislaus District's best in Christina Uhalde and Allyssa Pena. Both shot 1-under 36 Tuesday in Johansen's lopsided win.

Modesto (11-2) can't match the individual performances -- Summer Uhrik shot a personal best 45 at par-35 Muni on Tuesday -- but the Panthers hope their depth can lead to an upset.

Johansen won the two previous meetings, but Modesto whittled the deficit from 31 strokes in early September to just nine in their match two weeks ago. The MMC comes to a close Tuesday.

LEAGUE TOURNEYS -- The Valley Oak League golf tournament is Monday at Brookside Country Club in Stockton. The first group tees off at 9 a.m. ... The Central California Conference tournament is Monday at 9 a.m. at Diablo Grande. ... The Valley Foothill League South Division tournament also is Monday at Dryden Park in Modesto, with a 9 a.m. start. ... The VFL North Division gets together Wednesday at La Contenta in Valley Springs, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

MODESTO CLOSES IN -- Not to be overlooked as the season comes to a close is the performance turned in by Modesto's girls tennis team, which raised its record to 10-0 on Tuesday with yet another 7-0 MMC win. This time it was Downey, though it could have easily been any other MMC foe.

Not only is Modesto unbeaten, it's 69-1 in individual MMC matches.

"We have girls who have been playing club tennis for years, some since they were very young," first-year coach Gretchen Peek said. "That's what makes those girls so strong.

"Our doubles teams have some experienced players, but we have girls who are new to tennis and gritty. They're excited and work hard at the game."

No. 1 singles Katie Eng is set to defend her MMC title, and her closest competitor could be teammate Mackenzie Cook. The doubles teams are just as dominant, with No. 1 Radhika Bali and Monique Origel and No. 2 Jessica Yang and Preeti Bangalore consistently rolling through foes.

"I knew Katie, Mackenzie and Preeti from when they played club tennis with my daughter," said Peek, whose freshman daughter Synclaire is also on the team. "I heard Modesto was looking for a coach, and I thought it would be a unique opportunity. I play tennis, but I hadn't coached it."

WHO'S NO. 1? -- The answer seems to change each week for Valley Oak League volleyball.

Defending champion Oakdale was the favorite, then lost two early matches. That put Sonora atop the league -- until the Mustangs went on the road to upset their foothill rivals. The vacancy was filled by Sierra, but the Timberwolves lost in succession to Sonora and Oakdale. That left Sonora in first place -- for now.

On the final day of the regular season, Oakdale hosts Sonora.