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CHS boys volleyball vying for second playoff berth
Senior Cristian Garcia (33) will fill a major role on Ceres Highs varsity boys volleyball team for the third year in a row. Garcia helped lead the Bullldogs to their first-ever playoff berth last spring. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys volleyball program qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs during its second year of existence in 2017.

The 2018 Bulldogs expect to do even better.

"We want to win league and make a playoff run," 6-foot-7 senior Cristian Garcia said. "That's what we're working towards. I think it's possible with this team."

All nine of Ceres High's players will contribute this spring, including veterans Garcia, Christian Murry (Jr.), Freddi Lopez (Sr.), Ivan Arita (Jr.) and Gustavo Hernandez (Jr.).

Garcia and Murry were both selected to the Western Athletic Conference First team last season.

Garcia totaled 191 kills, 135 digs, 95 blocks and 19 aces.

Murry had 463 digs, 141 kills, 42 assists, 40 aces and 19 blocks.

The Bulldogs have four newcomers: Alex Garcia (Jr.), Fernando Sosa (So.), Christian Martinez (Sr.) and Daniel Hadwick (Sr.).

Alex and Fernando suited up for Ceres High's 2017 WAC-champion junior-varsity boys volleyball squad.

Martinez earned second-team all-WAC honors while starring on the Bulldogs' varsity boys soccer team this past winter.

Hadwick played football in the fall.

"The dynamic of this group of boys is different," head coach Darlene Tobler said. "They support each other. It's awesome."

"The chemistry with this team is really good," Cristian Garcia added. "Our fundamentals increased. We're able to rally and dig better. We want to make this year memorable."

The Bulldogs posted a 20-10 overall record last spring.

Twelfth-seeded Ceres High lost 3-0 to No. 5 Burbank in the Division-II playoff tournament.

The Bulldogs tied for second in the Western Athletic Conference standings (10-5) with Los Banos.

Ceres High won all three of its meetings versus crosstown-rival Central Valley.

The Bulldogs have reached new heights under Tobler's leadership. "Her passion and willingness to help each player get better every day sets her apart from other coaches," Cristian Garcia said.