Earlier this season, head coach Mary Ann Tolbert had said the depth of the Manteca High girls tennis team was one of its strongest assets this season. The Buffaloes were strong, not just at the top, but all the way through the lineup.

On Wednesday, that quality came through in the biggest of ways.

It was the Buffaloes’ closest match of the season, but No. 2 Manteca’s deep roster helped secure a 5-4 victory over No. 1 Mira Loma to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship.

It was the Buffaloes’ third straight section finals appearance, and second title in three years. Manteca previously won the Division III championship in 2016.

Earlier in the Division III playoffs, the Buffaloes beat No. 3 El Capitan 7-2 in the semifinals. Manteca started the playoffs on Halloween, sweeping No. 7 Ceres 9-0.

Manteca’s Julia Tang dropped Wednesday’s top singles match to a tough opponent in Mira Loma’s Jasjot Sandhu, but her teammates quickly picked her up. No. 2 Sahiba Kaur, who went 15-0 in the regular season, beat her counterpart in straight sets.

No. 3 Ellie Kim and No. 4 Makenna Condit added straight-set wins, and Kerren Zou won the No. 6 singles for Manteca. The pair of Isabella Huerta and Daniele Diaz won the No. 3 doubles match to give Manteca the crown.

Tolbert said it was a special moment for this team, especially for the four seniors that had been on the title-winning squad two years prior. This year’s group lost some key seniors from last season, and there was some uncertainty early about what the Buffaloes could bring to the table in 2018.

“You don’t know when you’re going to get another team like that,” Tolbert said. “Sure enough, we were right back at it, and we made it happen tonight.”

All season, Tolbert said, the Buffaloes have been fed the idea of leaving everything out on the court. If they did that, there wouldn’t be any room for regrets. After Wednesday, it’s safe to say that ideal wasn’t lost on this Manteca team.

“It doesn’t matter what court we’re on,” Tolbert said. “We go out there, take care of business and get off the court. It’s been our mantra all season. It clearly showed today.”