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Bulldogs edge out Hawks in girls tennis nailbiter
Improve head-to-head record to 15-0
Ceres Highs Stephanie Garcia, top left, and Dominique Koeurn defeated Central Valleys Ayme Nguyen and Vanessa Monroy 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5) in No. 3 doubles play last week. Garcia and Koeurn helped the Bulldogs improve their all-time record versus the Hawks to 15-0. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

In baseball, there's an unwritten rule if your pitcher's working on a no-hitter.

Whatever you do, don't bring attention to the fact.

Marifer Ochoa, No. 1 singles player for Ceres High's varsity girls tennis team, inadvertently talked about the Bulldogs' dominance against the crosstown-rival Hawks. Ceres High's No. 3 doubles tandem of Dominique Koeurn and Stephanie Garcia needed to beat Central Valley's Ayme Nguyen and Vanessa Monroy to extend the seven-year unbeaten streak.

"I accidentally told them," Ochoa said.

Playing together for the first time, Koeurn and Garcia struggled at times but managed to help the Bulldogs improve their all-time record versus the Hawks to 15-0.

Dominique and Stephanie prevailed, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), while battling Nguyen and Monroy.

Koeurn and Garcia battled back from a 5-1 deficit to force a tiebreaker in the first set.

Down 3-2 and 5-4, Dominique and Stephanie rallied to win the second set. Koeurn and Garcia overcame 2-1, 3-2 and 5-4 deficits in the tiebreaker.

"We just wanted to beat Central Valley because they're crosstown rivals," Garcia said. "It feels great."

"There was pressure," Koeurn said. "We didn't want to lose. It (winning the first set after trailing 5-1) pumped us up. We thought positive. We communicated really well."

"I'm really proud of them," Ochoa said. "It was an intense match. They worked really well together. They did good under pressure. That shows they're mentally strong."

"It's pretty amazing," Ceres High head coach Jack Jacques said while talking about Koeurn's and Garcia's improbable comeback. "They focused well and did what they needed to do."

Central Valley's Princess Pe and Chelsea Flores defeated Ceres High's Jolyce Vega and Bryanna Lopez 6-4, 6-2 in No. 2 doubles play to even the team score at 4-all.

Ceres High's Janet Jimenez and Julianna Rosas defeated Central Valley's Claudia Martinez and Celeste Lepe 6-2, 6-1 in No. 1 doubles play.

The Hawks and Bulldogs both won three singles matches.

Ochoa defeated Emely Amaya 6-1, 6-4 in No. 1 singles play.

Angelica Slater defeated Central Valley's Naomi Torres 6-2, 6-4 in No. 2 singles play.

Justine Vega defeated Teresa Diaz 6-4, 6-1 in No. 6 singles play.

Jadah Jackson defeated Ceres High's Bianca DeAnda 6-2, 6-4 in No. 3 singles play.

Ali Martinez defeated Gabriella Blandino 6-2, 6-0 in No. 4 singles play.

Sandra Luna defeated Jasmine Esparza 6-1, 6-1 in No. 5 singles play.

Ceres High improved to 3-3 in the WAC standings.

Central Valley dropped to 2-3 in conference play.

The Bulldogs continued their winning tradition against the Hawks under new direction.

Jacques replaced longtime Ceres High head coach Bryan Harden.

The Bulldogs will play host to the Hawks on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m.

"We play them one more time," Jacques said. "Anything can happen."