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Modesto tennis escorted off court

Modesto High senior Katie Eng could see the problems that Pleasant Grove's Hailee Sutton was having with her service game.

Eng saw Sutton relaxing on the second serve, meaning Sutton would focus on getting it in the box rather than on the speed of the hit.

Eng capitalized.

The senior used strong forehands and backhands to dominate her match 6-0, 6-0, but it wasn't enough as Modesto lost 5-4 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Team Playoffs at the Modesto Fitness and Racquet Club on Wednesday.

"I like to attack," said Eng, who has yet to lose a set this season. "I like to hit it hard."

Eng showed off all facets of her game against Sutton, who came close to a break in the first set.

Eng would scoot up a few steps on Sutton's second serve and when the slow serve came Eng would reel back and slam forehand winners up either line.

Sutton would play back on Eng's serves and if Sutton stayed back on the volley, Eng would stroke a drop shot and watch it stop just after clearing the net.

Eng said that her forehand is her best shot and her weakness is her backhand. She was able to use both shots effectively Wednesday.

"Her backhand is not weak," Modesto coach Gretchen Peek said. "She doesn't have a hole in her game. She's fit, she's smart. Every facet of the game is great.

"Her forehand is very strong. You don't want to be on the other side of a Katie Eng forehand."

Modesto's No. 2 singles player Mackenzie Cook also won as she took down Taylor Osborne 6-3, 6-2.

Cook did a good job of forcing Osborne to back up to hit balls. Cook's returns were crisp and would hit just before the base line. Osborne had trouble getting back and returning the shots.

Modesto had wins from Katelynn Forney and Monique Origel, but lost every doubles match.

Pleasant Grove will play Davis-Yolo High or St. Mary's High on Monday at a site to be announced.

Despite the team loss, some Modesto players will compete today in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division I individual tournament.

Three players from the Modesto Metro Conference will play singles matches. Eng and Cook are Nos. 1 and 2 in the conference and will join Beyer High's Sarah Whiteside. The doubles will include Modesto High's Synclaire Waldron and Katelynn Forney, Beyer's Bianca Pallotta and Morgan Cox and Downey's Cathy Lee and Jordan Flora.

Bee staff writer Scott Oxarart can be reached at soxarart@modbee.com or 578-2300.

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