Ceres High’s girls volleyball program compiled a 9-13 overall record and took sixth in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 5-9 mark this fall.
The Bulldogs dropped 9 of 13 matches while struggling to a last-place finish in the WAC last season.
“We were very competitive,” Ceres High leader Kelly Heese said while assessing her team’s performance in 2022. “I saw growth in every single one of my players. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
The Bulldogs snapped a three-match losing streak with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-22) victory over the host Grace Davis Spartans on Oct. 18.
“It’s always nice to end the season on a positive note,” Heese said.
Ceres High erased a 10-0 deficit in the third game versus Grace Davis.
“We started to pass the ball again,” Heese said.
Visiting Ceres High squandered a two-games-to-none lead in losing 3-2 (21-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-6) at Mountain House on Oct. 13.
The Bulldogs won the first meeting, 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23), on Sept. 20 in Ceres.
Ceres High lost 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-5, 15-12) to Los Banos on Senior Night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium on Oct. 12.
Starters Dominique Arendt, Jazmyne Arendt, Jada Harris, Sehren Martinez, Abi Prado and Ally Strehl competed at home for the final time as the Bulldogs failed to exact revenge for a 3-2 (25-14, 25-12, 21-25, 24-26, 15-13) loss.
Harris, Martinez, Prado, Strehl, Dominique Arendt and Jazmyne Arendt will be lost to graduation in June.
“I’m going to miss them,” Heese said.
The Bulldogs’ conference schedule included matches against Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Los Banos, Pacheco, Lathrop and Mountain House.
Ceres High beat Grace Davis and Johansen twice and Mountain House once.
Beyer (14-0), Lathrop (12-2), Pacheco (9-5), Los Banos (7-7) and Mountain House (7-7) placed first, second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Last-place Johansen (1-13) and Grace Davis (1-13) posted identical records.
Beyer, Lathrop and Pacheco qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“I know we should have finished better than we did,” Heese said. “The girls know that as well. We could never figure out how to bring our individual talent together as a team.”
Ceres High will compete with a revamped roster next fall.
Returnees Jasmeen Kaur, Laurin Morton and Anaia Terrill will fill bigger roles on the team.
Mariah Zamora, a standout at the junior-varsity level this season, will also contribute.
“When you tear down a house and rebuild, you want to make it better than it was,” Heese said. “It will be interesting to see where we’re at next year. I think we’ll be successful.”
Hawks last in CCC
Central Valley High School’s girls volleyball team dropped its final match of the 2022 season, 3-0, to visiting Atwater on Senior Night in Ceres on Oct. 17.
The Hawks will lose 10 upperclassmen to graduation, including Bella Carrera, Alondra Carrillo, Soriah Corona, Lisette Estrella, Janessa Godinez, Victoria Lloyd, Yaresli Lopez, Allie Peterman, Gabriella Ramirez and Akem Sandhu.
“Janessa and Bella were the leaders,” head coach Regina Selfridge said. “They will be missed. Bella leads by example. She works hard every single play either in practice or during a game. Both girls are natural leaders.”
The Hawks posted an 0-21 overall record and finished in last place in the Central California Conference standings with an 0-12 mark.
“Of course we always want to do better,” Selfridge said.
“Hard to close the (competitive gap) when the other teams have half or more of their squads at all levels playing year-round,” she added.
Central Valley lost 11 of their 12 league matches by identical scores of 3-0.
The Hawks dropped home-and-away matches to Atwater, El Capitan, Golden Valley, Merced, Buhach Colony and Patterson.
Central Valley’s most competitive match was against Patterson. The Tigers rallied for a 3-2 win over the Hawks on Sept. 12 in Ceres. Patterson swept Central Valley, 3-0, during the second meeting.
“Definitely improvement this season,” Selfridge said. “We had some excellent blocking. We had some incredible digs.”
The Hawks will face a rebuilding in 2023.
Central Valley will return just two players from this year’s team in Jannet Valencia and Amerie De La Torre.