Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s varsity girls tennis programs have been chosen as the Courier’s co-Teams of the Year for the fall sports campaign.
The Bulldogs and Hawks both placed second in their respective conferences and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“We expected to have a good year even though we were going into a new league,” Central Valley head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “We set up preseason matches against schools to challenge the girls. I’m pretty satisfied overall. We had a strong finish. Obviously, we wanted to win league. We played two competitive matches with El Capitan.”
“The girls did a good job of believing in the team concept. They understood their roles. They always came to practice. They did exactly what I told them to do. They were determined to get better every day.”Coach Brandon Moring
“The girls did a good job of believing in the team concept,” Ceres High first-year head coach Brandon Moring said. “They understood their roles. They always came to practice. They did exactly what I told them to do. They were determined to get better every day.”
The Hawks amassed a program-best 14-5 overall record.
Central Valley won 12 of 14 matches during its first season in the Central California Conference.
Guadalupe Becerra, Giana Arce, Sunaina Dhillon, Mixtly Vega, Elisabeth Valdez, Bandha Bhatti, Virginia Moore, Daniela Yepez, Lizbeth Martinez, Sabina Dhillon, Christina Hermenegildo, Sadie Porras and Priscilla Sanchez all contributed.
“We had a two-year run in the past where we were 20-4 in conference play,” Rodriguez said. “That was a good team overall. If you go with wins and the league they played in, you’d probably have to put this team at the top. They were competitive, dedicated and experienced. That contributed to their success.”
Ceres High compiled an 11-3 record in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Shania Evans, Vivian Moreno, Camille Vega, Tania Garfias, Gurmenjit Bahia, Jillian Jimenez, Morgan Bejaran, Christel Ontiveros, Jasmine Bahia, Monica Esparza, Elena Ochoa and Gurmannet Bahia all contributed.
“Our experience was a big part of our success,” Moring said. “We had a lot of senior leadership. Our No. 1-3 singles players (Evans, Moreno and Vega) were the heart and soul of the team. They refused to lose. They had a fight-don’t-quit mentality.”