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CHS netters fall short
Defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II varsity boys tennis champion Granite Bay ended Ceres High's season.

The top-seeded Bulldogs of the Western Athletic Conference lost 6-3 to the Sierra Foothill League's second-seeded Grizzlies in the second round of the playoffs on Tuesday, May 1 at Ceres High.

"I have nothing to be upset about," Bulldogs head coach Bryan Harden said. "We were right there. I feel really good about the boys' effort."

Ceres High posted a school-record 20-2 overall record this season.

The Bulldogs won 11 of 12 matches on their way to a first-place finish in the WAC standings.

Ceres secured its third straight postseason berth and second league title in the last three years.

The Bulldogs also claimed singles and doubles titles at the conference tournament.

"We're not used to losing," junior Trevor Brazil said. "It sucks. We just got a tough draw."

Ceres High faced a tough opponent in Granite Bay, which shared the SFL crown with Del Oro. The Grizzlies (9-1) were edged out by the Golden Eagles in a tiebreaker for their league's top seed. Del Oro defeated Granite Bay 5-4 in the section finals.

The Bulldogs won two of six singles and one of three doubles matches against the Grizzlies.

The majority of the matches were competitive.

Ceres High freshman/WAC singles champion Julio Ochoa defeated Matt Thompson 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in No. 1 singles play.

Bulldog sophomore Alick Liang defeated Wade Graves 6-3, 6-3 in No. 3 singles play.

A week earlier, Liang suffered a heart-breaking 0-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 loss to Los Banos' Cory Purser in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Alick squandered a 3-0 lead in the second set.

"That's in the past," he said. "This is playoffs. I was just trying to win this one."

"Alick's got a short memory," Harden said. "He played smart. That's good for his confidence."

Heath Adrian and Shane Kumar, Ceres High's No. 3 doubles team, rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Abhi Jadhar and Arya Mousari.

Ceres High's No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles players, and No. 1 and 2 doubles teams lost.

Junior Gurman Bains lost 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5 to Jake Keester in No. 2 singles action.

Bains had trouble finishing. Ahead 5-4 in the final set, Gurman dropped three straight games.

He used three different rackets during the course of the match because he broke strings on two.

Freshman Chase Harden lost 7-5, 6-3 to Brandon Kozlowski in No. 4 singles action.

Sophomore Jordan Mey lost 6-0, 6-0 to Brad Chee in No. 5 singles action.

Senior Victor Pimentel lost 7-5, 6-4 to Johnny Zhang in No. 6 singles action.

Junior Trevor Brazil and senior Esteban de la Torre lost 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 to Chinar Sheth and Andrew Bone in No. 1 doubles action.

Juniors Sergio Zepeda and David Cisneros lost 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 in a super tiebreaker to Alan Zheng and Joseph Paras in No. 2 doubles action.

"I had no expectations going in," coach Harden said. "I was hoping to compete in a couple of the matches. Everybody played their best tennis. I'm not disappointed. The kids gave everything they had. You can't knock them for that."

Added Brazil: "You can't win them all."