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Central Valley varsity boys tennis squad hoping to reach new heights
Hawks will try to secure first-ever postseason berth
Alexis Zigala and the Hawks want to make history this year. Central Valleys varsity boys tennis team has never qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's varsity boys tennis team could make history this year.

"We have a solid group," head coach Mike Rodriguez said. "We should make playoffs. They've set that goal for themselves."

Alexis Zigala (Sr.), Edgar Castillo (Jr.), Alexis Villa (Jr.), Eric Morales (Jr.), Brandyn Weis (Jr.) and Gerardo Rivas (Jr.) will contribute at singles.

Ruben Morales (Fr.), Nimrit Chahal (Jr.), Wing Chang (Jr.), Navjot Kanda (Jr.), Julio Pena (Jr.) and Osvaldo Sanchez (Sr.) will log playing time at doubles.

Zigala, Castillo, Villa, Morales, Weis, Rivas, Chahal, Chang, Kanda, Pena and Sanchez are returners.

Zigala's a fourth-year player.

Zigala posted a 2-11 record last year. He lost 6-0, 6-1 to Ceres High's Alick Liang in the opening round of the WAC Singles Championships.

Villa had a 3-10 record. He lost 6-0, 6-0 to Bulldog Julio Ochoa at the conference tournament.

Zigala and 2013 Central Valley graduate Alex Hernandez won one of two matches while competing at the WAC doubles tourney.

"The kids are excited," Rodriguez said. "They know they have a good chance at making playoffs. This is our most experienced group since I've been here."

Zigala, Castillo, Villa, Weis, Rivas and Chang all competed during the offseason through USTA Jr. Team Tennis.

"It gave them some extra practice against better competition," Rodriguez said. "Most of the kids in the past didn't play in the summer."

Central Valley tied for last place with Pacheco in the WAC standings at 2-10 last season.

Ceres High (12-0), Patterson (10-2), Livingston (7-5), Central Catholic (6-6) and Los Banos (3-9) finished first, second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ceres High, Patterson and Livingston qualified for the playoffs.

The Hawks have never beaten the crosstown-rival Bulldogs. Ceres High owns a 14-0 head-to-head record versus Central Valley.