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CHSs girls tennis team returns to postseason tourney
Lackey, 89, not returning as head coach next fall
Ceres Highs varsity girls tennis team placed third in the WAC and advanced to the playoffs under first-year head coach Jack Lackeys leadership.

Ceres High's varsity girls tennis team competed under first-year head coach Jack Lackey's guidance for the final time this past week.

The Bulldogs lost 7-2 to the River Valley Falcons in first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs on Oct. 31 in Yuba City.

"I miss my regular routine," said Lackey, who will turn 90 in February. "I like to play tennis twice a week and go to the gym and work out. My wife and I have been doing Tai Chi for 17 to 18 years. I'm going to miss the girls. I enjoyed trying to help them become better tennis players. They were compliant. They did what I asked them to do."

The Bulldogs won one of three doubles and two of six singles matches while competing against the Falcons.

Camille Vega and Harmen Bahia defeated Karisma Lucatero and Kimran Lally 6-2, 6-1 in No. 1 doubles play.

Ariel Coria and Kayla Sierras lost 7-6, 6-1 to Chandan Balagan and Preetinder Kaur in No. 2 doubles play.

Morgan Bejaran and Tania Garfias lost 6-1, 6-4 to Ella Harrison and Gigi Kaur in No. 3 doubles play.

Azia Brewster defeated Joanna Jarvis 3-6, 6-2 default in No. 3 singles play.

Andria Esho lost 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 to Navdeep Bal in No. 2 singles play.

Dominique Koeurn lost 6-0, 6-1 to Zoe Hearn in No. 3 singles play.

Vivian Moreno lost 6-2, 6-3 to Brianna Reyes in No. 4 singles play.

Bella Rosas lost 6-0, 6-1 to Amelia Marchetti in No. 5 singles play.

Sarah Cuevas lost 6-2, 6-1 to Manjot Mann in No. 6 singles play.

Cuevas, who made up half of Ceres High's No. 1 doubles team during the regular season, competed at No. 6 singles.

Vega and Bahia, and Coria and Sierras moved up one spot in the Bulldogs' lineup.

Bejaran, who usually partners with Cuevas, dropped to No. 3 doubles.

"I really didn't know what to expect (going into the match)," Lackey said. "We were missing our No. 6 singles player (Shania Evans). I had to jostle my doubles around. I think it did make a big difference. Would have, could have. We played as well as we could."

Ceres High (Western Athletic Conference) and River Valley (Tri-County Conference) both placed third in their respective leagues during the regular season.

Lackey's coaching stint with the Bulldogs was short but successful.

"It was a good experience," he said. "I don't regret it. I met a nice group of young ladies. I never got any sass from them. They were pretty fun to be around. They all tried. They improved."

Ceres High edged out crosstown-rival Central Valley 5-4 for the WAC's third and final playoff berth.

The Bulldogs (8-7) lost their previous seven matches to the Hawks, who advanced to the postseason in 2015 and 2014.

"That was the highlight of our season," said Lackey, whose team lost twice by identical scores of 5-4 to Central Valley this year. "That enabled us to have a winning season and go to sections."

The Bulldogs returned to the playoffs following a one-year absence.

Ceres High has advanced to the postseason eight out of the past 10 seasons.

Esho, Koeurn, Brewster and Cuevas will be lost to graduation in June.

Ceres High could return as many as eight starters next fall, including Moreno, Rosas, Evans, Vega, Bahia, Coria, Sierras and Bejaran.

"I think they'll do well next year," Lackey said.