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Bulldogs tie, lose on tennis courts
Yesenia Mendoza
Yesenia Mendoza and Ceres High’s girls tennis team competed twice last week. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High School’s inexperienced-laden girls tennis program tied and lost once during the opening week of Western Athletic Conference play.

“I’m very pleased with my team’s performance,” head coach Michelle Casey said. “We have many new tennis players, girls who have never picked up a racket before. I have a softball player who is No. 5 on the team and improving her tennis skill every day. I have a soccer player on the team and she is learning tennis for the first time as well.”

Ceres High moved to 0-0-1 in WAC South Division play after battling to a 4-4 tie with visiting Johansen on Feb. 22.

The Bulldogs won two of six singles and both doubles matches.

Valerie Raya defeated Sitlali Perucho 6-2, 6-3 in No. 4 singles play.

Kimberly Rodriguez defeated Samantha Ross 6-5, 3-6, 6-3 in No. 5 singles play.

Kensy Gallardo Sanchez and Lilia Barragan defeated Candy Gutierrez and Jazzlyn Galiciano 6-4, 6-2 in No. 1 doubles play.

Taiya Smith and Isabella Gutierrez, Ceres High’s No. 2 doubles team, won by forfeit.

Jasmine Bahia lost 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 to McKenna Taylor in No. 1 singles play.

Yesenia Mendoza lost 6-0, 6-0 to Kirsteen Cabral in No. 2 singles play.

Victoria Rodriguez lost 6-1, 6-3 to Anais Gonzalez in No. 3 singles play.

Melissa Villegas lost 6-2, 6-3 to Kylie Thiessen in No. 6 singles play.

The Bulldogs and Hawks didn’t field No. 3 doubles teams.

Host Ceres High dropped to 0-1-1 overall following Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to WAC North Division member Grace Davis in strong winds.

“Most of my players have never played in the wind before and it affected the tennis matches,” Casey said. “I am still very proud of my team.”

Gallardo Sanchez and Barragan won by forfeit at No. 1 doubles.

Smith and Gutierrez won by forfeit at No. 2 doubles.

There was a double forfeit at No. 3 doubles.

Bahia lost 6-2, 6-2 to Adryanna Ege in No. 1 singles play.

Mendoza lost 7-5, 7-6 to Sariyah Heidelberg-King in No. 2 singles play.

Victoria Rodriguez lost 6-0, 6-1 to Daylin Macias in No. 3 singles play.

Raya lost 6-0, 6-3 to Aspen Kelly in No. 4 singles play.

Kimberly Rodriguez lost 6-0, 6-1 to Ava Wear in No. 5 singles play.

Villegas lost 6-1, 6-0 to Jenifer Hinjosa in No. 6 singles play.

The girls tennis season is usually played in the fall but was moved to the spring due to COVID-19.

High school athletics had been put on hold since mid-March of last year when the statewide shutdown began in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year is different because of the COVID regulations,” Casey said. “We cannot cross over three counties. We will be in Merced County and Stanislaus County, but not San Joaquin County.”

“During practice, we wear masks the whole time and maintain social distancing,” she added. “During matches, the girls should wear their masks, however if they are overexerted, they may remove them during play. When the players are not in a match, they will wear their masks and social distance. Our Athletic Director, John Bussard, has made all the equipment and accessories adjustments necessary to meet all the Tennis Guidelines and COVID-19 Modifications for California Interscholastic Federation.”