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CHS netters claim conference title, qualify for playoffs
Bulldogs continue tradition of excellence
Darren Polanes and Ceres Highs varsity boys tennis team wrapped up the WAC regular season earlier this month. The Bulldogs placed first in league with a 14-1 record. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys tennis program continued its tradition of excellence this spring.

The Bulldogs captured their sixth conference title in eight years and secured their eighth consecutive playoff berth earlier this month.

"It's a big accomplishment for us," Ceres High singles player Christian Pimentel said. "We're all happy. We're having fun and winning. I'm proud of our team."

The Bulldogs compiled a near-perfect 14-1 record en route to a first-place finish in the 2017 Western Athletic Conference standings.

Ceres High claimed four straight WAC titles from 2012-15. The Bulldogs accomplished a first in program history by winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship in 2015.

Ceres High won 13 of 14 matches while taking first during its final season in the Valley Oak League in 2010.

The Bulldogs have amassed a 78-9 record since moving to the WAC in 2011.

Ceres High closed out the 2017 WAC regular season with victories against last-place Pacheco (0-15) on April 13 and fourth-place Central Valley (7-8) on April 12 in Ceres.

The Bulldogs improved their head-to-head record versus the crosstown-rival Hawks to 23-0 with a 6-3 home victory.

"To be honest, we really don't talk about it (Ceres High's dominance against Central Valley)," Pimentel said. "But we know about it. The streak motivates us."

The Bulldogs won four of six singles and two of three doubles matches during the third meeting.
Ceres High's Nolan McCaig defeated Central Valley's Ruben Morales 6-2, 6-0 in No. 1 singles play.

Jorge Campos defeated Juan Zaragoza lost 6-4, 6-2 in No. 4 singles play.

Donnavin Koeurn defeated Roman Ortiz lost 7-5, 6-2 in No. 5 singles play.

Darren Polanes defeated Rogelio Perez lost 6-4, 6-1 in No. 6 singles play.

Pimentel lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Manuel Lazcano in No. 2 singles play.

Chris Padilla lost 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 to Henry Garcia in No. 3 singles play.

Ceres High's Juan Hernandez and Will Rodriguez defeated Central Valley's Max Sanchez and Jesus Cuevas 6-4, 6-3 in No. 1 doubles play.

Gurraj Purewal and Tarandeep Singh defeated Adrian Gomez and Ivan Jimenez 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-4) in No. 3 doubles play.

Marino and Erik Haro lost 6-1, 6-1 to Ralph Afortunado and Alonzo Bustos in No. 2 doubles play.

Ceres High beat Central Valley three times this season, including 5-4 twice.

The Bulldogs (14-1) and Hawks (7-8) placed first and fourth, respectively, in the WAC standings.

"We've been neck and neck with Central Valley this season," Pimentel said. "It was scary. We pulled through."