Ceres High’s varsity boys tennis team hadn’t lost a Western Athletic Conference match since 2012.
The host Bulldogs reeled off 45 straight victories prior to losing 5-4 to Patterson on March 15.
Sophomore-laden Ceres High suffered its second loss of the WAC season, falling 5-4 to visiting Livingston on March 22.
The Bulldogs’ 2016 lineup looks drastically different from a year ago as a host of starters were lost to graduation.
“We fight for every point,” Ceres High head coach Brandon Moring said. “Our effort is always there. I didn’t see that against Livingston. We underachieved, big time. If you don’t work hard at practice, it shows up in matches. We have to take every practice serious.”
The Bulldogs (4-2) finished in third place behind Patterson (6-0) and Livingston (5-1) during the first half of the WAC season.
“We’ve lost some tight matches,” Moring said. “We got a young group. We just have to learn how to be clutch when it matters the most.”
Ceres High won four of six singles matches while battling Livingston.
Nolan McCaig defeated Alex Mercado 6-0, 6-2 in No. 1 singles play.
Bruno de la Torre defeated Isaias Cortes 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in No. 4 singles play.
Sophomore Donnavin Koeurn defeated Enrique Medina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in No. 5 singles play.
Jorge Campos defeated Kevin Castro 6-3, 6-2 in No. 6 singles play.
Sophomore Christian Pimentel lost 6-0, 6-0 to Christian Bracamontes in No. 2 singles play.
Sophomore Christopher Padilla lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to Angel Ramirez in No. 3 singles play.
The Bulldogs dropped all three doubles matches.
Charles Lo and Ozzie Carrillo lost 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 to Emmanuel Jimenez and Diego Jimenez in No. 1 doubles play.
Sophomores Juan Hernandez and Adrian Covarrubias lost 6-4, 7-6 to Harjot Sidhu and Michael Leon in No. 2 doubles play.
Sophomore Will Rodriguez and Aiden Moore lost 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to Edgar Salas and Balpreet Chahal in No. 3 doubles play.
“We should have won at No. 1 and 3 doubles,” Moring said. “Both went three sets.”
Ceres High will try to avenge losses to Livingston (April 14) and Patterson (April 21) on the road during the second half of the WAC season.
“It will be difficult,” Moring said. “I think our kids will respond. I feel confident.”
Moring staged practices, Monday through Thursday, during spring break.
Each training session lasted two hours.
“If you want to beat the best, you have to be willing to make yourself better,” Moring said.
The top three teams in the WAC qualify for the playoffs.
Ceres High has advanced to the postseason the past six years.
The Bulldogs have also won four straight conference titles.
“It’s still the standard,” said Moring, who believes his team will defend its WAC championship and participate in the playoffs again.