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Ceres High boys advance in tennis
Bulldogs improve to 28-0 on year
Ceres Highs Rene Cortes defeated Sonoras Ian Barkhard 7-5, 6-1 in No. 5 singles play. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity boys tennis team is still perfect.

The Bulldogs improved to 28-0 on the year after dismantling Valley Oak League No. 3 seed Sonora 8-1 in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Divison-II playoffs on May 6 in Ceres.

Ceres High received a first-round after posting a 12-0 record in Western Athletic Conference play.

"I wasn't sure what to expect from my boys today," Bulldogs head coach Bryan Harden said. "We hadn't played in a while. I was afraid there would be a lot of rust. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad. Most of the boys played pretty well."

Nolan McCaig, Julio Ochoa, Alick Liang, Chase Harden, Rene Cortes, Jordan Mey, Juan Jimenez, Shane Kumar, Heath Adrian and Dennis Phommalinh all played a role in leading Ceres High past Sonora .

McCaig defeated Andrew Klatt in No. 1 singles play. Down 4-1 in the first set, Klatt retired.
defeated Donald Truong 6-0, 6-0 in No. 2 singles play.

Liang defeated Spencer Lyons 6-1, 7-5 in No. 3 singles play.

Harden defeated Austin Page 6-0, 7-6 (7-3) in No. 4 singles play.

Cortes defeated Ian Barkhard 7-5, 6-1 in No. 5 singles play.

Mey defeated Gardner Davis 6-1, 6-3 in No. 6 singles play.

Jimenez and Kumar defeated Jon Abt and Eric Deardon 6-3, 6-0 in No. 2 doubles play.

Adrian and Phommalinh defeated Zach Whitmer and Ross Irwin 7-5, 6-3 in No. 3 doubles play.

Jorge Ruiz and Julian Rodriguez lost 7-5, 6-3 to Sonora's Sam Page and Bence Bognar in No. 1 doubles play.

"Our singles boys were pretty much in control of their matches," coach Harden said. "Some of the doubles teams came out a bit slow but they recovered nicely."

The Bulldogs are three victories away from winning it all.

Ceres High secured its third consecutive WAC crown (12-0) and fifth straight playoff berth this season.

The Bulldogs compiled an impressive 30-2 overall record and brought home a second-place trophy from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Tournament last year.

"The matches get tougher as we move along," Bryan Harden said. "Each round seems to bring another level of play. We must get better each match from here on out if we wish to compete well."