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Hawk doubles team takes 4th
An exhausted Alex Cunningham fell to the ground.

His doubles partner, Heath Sousa, walked off the court and grabbed a bottle of water.

The Central Valley varsity boys tennis teammates had just suffered a grueling 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 loss to second-seeded Blake Dunn and Daniel Dunning of Oakdale in the semifinals of the Valley Oak League Championships on Thursday, May 6 in Ceres.

Alex and Heath squandered a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker.

"They were pretty tired," Hawks head coach Mike Rodriguez said.

Minutes later, Cunningham and Sousa found out their season wasn't over.

They earned the right to play against East Union's Ricky Peloso and Sean Hilscher for third place and a trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Individual Tournament.

Cunningham and Sousa considered forfeiting the match due to fatigue but returned to action after a brief rest.

Alex and Heath had to settle for fourth after losing, 6-4, 6-4, to the No. 4 seed. Cunningham sprained his wrist during the back-and-forth affair.

"I don't think a lot of people expected us to make it that far," Rodriguez said. "It was pretty surprising. They played some competitive matches and almost made it to sections. It was a good way to end the season."

Cunningham and Sousa upset third-seeded Chris Sanchez and Daniel Boyack of Sonora 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Alex and Heath edged East Union's Jordan Concepcion and Marcos Aleman 9-8 (7-4) in the first round.

Cunningham and Sousa spent more than three hours on the courts at Central Valley on Thursday. The senior-junior duo completed the most successful run for a Hawks' doubles team in program history.

"They played some competitive matches and almost made it to sections," Rodriguez said. "I'm pretty pleased with the results."

Central Valley's Gary Ney and Trinidad Sandoval advanced past the first round of the doubles tournament with an 8-5 victory over Weston Ranch's Serbinder Singh and Itsui Yamayoshi. They lost 8-0 to Peloso and Hilscher.

Hawk teammates Chan Chau and Javier Molina fell 8-2 to Sonora's Hunter Vroman and Austin Poe.

Ceres High's Raul Massie and Harman Bains, the tournament's seventh-seeded doubles team, lost 6-7, 6-4, 12-10 in a third-set super tiebreaker to Dunn and Dunning in the quarterfinals.

Massie and Bains bested Vroman and Poe 8-3 in the second round.

Gurman Bains and Manuel Cerrillo lost 8-5 to Weston Ranch's Mike Tongpalad and Kevin Yamayoshi.

Bulldogs teammates Nick Serratos and Victor Cruz were also beaten in the first round. They lost 8-4 to Dunn and Dunning.