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Central Valleys Becerra, Arce shine at league tournament
Junior Becerra finishes in the top four
Central Valley junior Guadalupe Becerra (pictured) and Gianna Arce compiled identical 2-1 records while finishing in the top four at the Western Athletic Conference Singles Championships last week in Los Banos. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Central Valley varsity girls tennis players Guadalupe Becerra and Gianna Arce both advanced to the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Singles Championships this past week in Los Banos.

"They have to put more time in the offseason to take the next step," Hawks head coach Mike Rodriguez said.

Becerra, a junior, did the expected by finishing in the top four.

She was seeded third for the 14-person tourney.

"Great effort all day," Rodriguez said. "I thought she was going to pull out the semifinal match. She made it interesting in the end. I give her big-time credit. She battled back from down 1-4 in the third set and had a chance. She competed to the last game. I think she gassed out."

Guadalupe won two of her three matches.

Becerra edged Los Banos' Kierstyn Cotta, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, in the opening round.

She defeated Patterson's Marissa Tellas 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

Guadalupe lost 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 to Los Banos' Haley Ballez in the semifinals.

"It was a long day for her," Rodriguez said. "She played a lot of tennis. She was exhausted."

Unseeded, Arce compiled a 2-1 record en route to a top-four finish.

Gianna collected victories against Pacheco's Frances Jacobo (6-3, 6-2) and Patterson's Ezie Ogbuli (6-2, 3-6, 6-4).

Ogbuli was seeded fourth.

Arce lost in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) to eventual-champion Shirley Liu of Los Banos.

"It's a huge step for her making it to the semis as a sophomore," Rodriguez said. "It's good for her confidence. She's a little ahead of what my expectations were."

Ceres High's Camille Vega and Kayla Sierras suffered losses in the opening round of the WAC Singles Tournament.

Vega lost 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 to Livingston's Gabriela Ramirez.

Sierras lost 6-2, 6-0 to Ogbuli.