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Dawgs defeat Lancers at nets for 2nd place
The Ceres and East Union high school girls tennis teams faced off in a must-win contest on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in Ceres.

The Bulldogs earned the Valley Oak League's second and final postseason berth with a 4-1 victory over the Lancers.

"This is a big accomplishment," coach Bryan Harden said. "We lost four of our top seven players to graduation and still made the playoffs. This team has just as much heart as any team I've had."

Ceres compiled an 10-3 record, losing twice to first-place Sonora and once via tiebreaker to East Union. The third-place Lancers went 8-5.

"It would have been nice to win league but you can't always get what you want," Harden said. "The girls really stepped up and took care of business in pretty good fashion. They worked really hard this year."

The Bulldogs wrapped up second place after McKenzy Harden, Logan Harden and Angie Prak won in straight sets.

"Our singles dominated," coach Harden said. "They played hard and aggressive."

McKenzy Harden coasted to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Amanda Baker at No. 1 singles and finished the VOL regular season with a perfect 27-0 record.

"McKenzy was in charge the whole way," coach Harden said. "She had an answer for everything the girl tried and was better at it."

Logan Harden overpowered Cozy Heinze 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Harden lost 7-5 to Heinze in round-robin play during the first half of the VOL season. Logan's patience paid off in the final meeting.

"She's as good as anyone in this league when she's focused," coach Harden said. "Her skills are lights out."

Angie Prak defeated Kristen Benedict 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.

"She was sick today and grinded that match out," Harden said.

Tiffany Ornells and Sydney Featherstone defeated Alyssa Wegner and Haylai Mohammadi 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 at No. 1 doubles. Ornells and Featherstone led 5-0 in the third and final set.

"That was a good match," Harden said. "They battled."

Natalie Flores and Christina Villavong lost 6-2, 6-0 to Alicia Cook and Kyrie Belme at No. 2 doubles.

"They had a really good practice," Harden said. "I honestly thought they were going to go out there and kick butt."

The Bulldogs will make their first postseason appearance since 2003 when they travel to Fairfield to compete against Solano County Athletic Conference champion Rodriguez on Monday, Nov. 5.

Six singles and three doubles matches will be played.

"We're going to play hard and have fun," coach Harden said.