ESCALON — Kaitlyn Brayton bids farewell to the Escalon High tennis program today, but the three-time Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 singles champion wants one more title before she leaves.
Brayton and her Cougars go after a second straight section team title today, as they host Placer at 3:30 p.m.
This is Escalon's sixth final in 10 years, and the Cougars won three of their first five.
Escalon has ruled the Trans-Valley League for the last decade, winning seven of the last 10 titles and going 47-1 in league the past four seasons.
Brayton's been key to that success, going 86-1 in four seasons. Her lone loss was in last week's section final, and she won twice this week in Escalon's playoff wins over Marysville (4-3) and River City (5-2).
Two additional matches, a second doubles for boys and girls, were added in the postseason three years ago to reward teams with more depth. Previously, a team with just four players could win a title by winning boys and girls singles and one doubles match.
The current format of boys and girls singles, two doubles matches for boys and girls, and a mixed doubles makes it difficult for a team that relies on three or four kids to win.
Escalon plays a nine-match format in the TVL, so it's had to whittle down its lineup.
Escalon also relies on Julia Thompson, a four-time TVL doubles champ; Presli Pilati and Vince Aufdemaur, the mixed doubles champ; freshman Jack Berry, the TVL singles champ; and Katie Aprile, a two-time doubles champ.