Hughson tennis team earns piece of TVL title again

What’s harder than winning a Trans-Valley League tennis title for the first time in 40 years? Doing it again, with almost an entirely new group of players.

That’s what the co-ed Hughson team accomplished with its victory Wednesday over Escalon. That result in the final TVL match of the regular season created a three-way tie for first place among the Huskies, Escalon and Riverbank. All finished the league schedule at 8-2 – each beating the other schools it’s tied with once while sweeping the rest of the league matches.

At Thursday night’s meeting of all the TVL tennis coaches, a tie-breaker formula was applied that left Escalon with the No. 1 seed, Hughson with No. 2 and Riverbank at No. 3. Because each had won nine matches against the other two schools, it came down to total matches won in league play. Escalon had 66, Hughson 65.

“You can’t get much closer than that,” said second-year Hughson coach Danny Rytting.

This year’s success comes as a pleasant surprise for Rytting, who wasn’t sure what to expect after 12 of his top 14 players graduated last spring. Only No. 1 boys singles player Isaiah Ramme and Joseph Avila, a part of the No. 2 boys doubles team, returned from last year’s team. They were joined by five seniors who hadn’t played on the tennis team before, plus some boys and girls from the 2022 junior varsity squad.

“It has been just a magical season,” Rytting said. “Some of them came from other sports and just wanted to try something different in their final year. We had lots of variance this year, but we have a great team culture. Great camaraderie.”

Rytting credited his four captains – Ramme, Avila, Angie Fontana and Emily Flora – for establishing the bond that led to the Huskies’ success on the court.

“They were great. They all just lifted each other up,” he said.

The Section playoffs are divided up into two tournaments – one for the entire team and one for individual players. The team tournament is the first week of May; the individual tournament starts May 15. Hughson and the other TVL schools began a two-day tournament Friday in Riverbank to determine which boys and girls singles players, boys and girls doubles teams and mixed doubles teams will represent the league.

Here are the Hughson players, their years in school and their league record who will compete in the TVL tournament:

**Boys singles:**Isaiah Ramme, senior, 8-2. Luca Salazar, junior, 7-2.

**Girls singles:**Amaris Noyce, junior, 3-4. Lilly Agueda, junior, 2-5.

**Boys doubles:**Kyson Rytting, senior, and Caleb Rytting, sophomore, 10-0. Joseph Avila, senior, and Tristan Burroughs, junior, 6-1.

**Girls doubles:**Emily Flora, senior, and Angie Fontana, senior, 7-2. Jessie Duron, senior, and Rachelle Crawford, sophomore, 6-2

**Mixed doubles:**Chris Brown, senior, and Chloe Coonce, junior, 6-0.