Central Valley’s varsity boys tennis team will face new competition during its first season in the Central California Conference this spring.
The Hawks previously competed in the Western Athletic Conference but were moved to the CCC as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment plan.
“It’s a step up in competition,” head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “Our main goal is to get better every match. We’ll see what happens.”
The Hawks return eight players from last year’s team, including Rogelio Perez (Sr.), Juan Zaragoza (Sr.), Adrian Gomez (Sr.), Alexander Kishore (So.), Andy Souksavath (Jr.), Jason Figueroa (So.), Belizario Ramirez (So.) and Gurtej Sangha (So.).
Zaragoza earned first-team all-conference honors during his junior year.
He posted a 3-8 record against WAC opponents while filling the top spot in Central Valley’s lineup.
Bryan Soto-Ruiz (So.), Donavan Gaut (So.), Omar Lepe (Fr.) and Lourdvic Polanes (Fr.) are the Hawks’ top newcomers.
The Hawks’ conference schedule includes matches versus Patterson, Livingston, Merced, Golden Valley, El Capitan, Buhach Colony and Atwater.
Central Valley compiled a 4-6 record on its way to a fourth-place finish in the 2018 WAC standings.
The Hawks missed the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the third year in a row.
Central Valley made its first-ever postseason appearance in 2014 and earned a return to the playoffs in 2015.
“Obviously, we want to get to the playoffs,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not sure if that’s a realistic goal for this year because we’re so young. It will probably take us a couple years to get better.”