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CV duo takes second in boys tennis
Morales, Lazcano qualify for section tournament again
Ruben Morales (pictured) and Manuel Lazcano teamed up at the Western Athletic Conference Doubles Championships for the second year in a row. Morales and Lazcano placed second again. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ruben Morales and Manuel Lazcano placed second at the Western Athletic Conference Doubles Championships for the second year in a row.

The Central Valley varsity boys tennis duo qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II tournament by virtue of their top-two finish.

"We're both really proud to have made history," Ruben said. "We made it to sections for the second year in a row. Hopefully, we don't play the No. 1 seed again."

Morales and Lazcano lost 6-3, 6-2 to Livingston's unseeded tandem of Diego Jimenez and Angel Ramirez in the finals on Thursday in Livingston.

"We knew we had a strong chance at winning it all," Morales said. "The fact that we were the No. 1 seed, we thought it was going to be easier. We should have performed better. We should have tried harder. I guess it just wasn't our day. They were really on their game. They were consistent."

Fatigue may have been a factor during the loss.

Morales and Lazcano played a combined six matches at the WAC doubles and singles tournaments last week.

"I played a three-set match on Wednesday," Morales said. "Manuel played twice. It was physically demanding and mentally draining. That affected our performance."

Morales and Lazcano beat Livingston's fourth-seeded duo of Michael Leon and Harjot Sidhu 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinals and Ceres High's Christian Pimentel and Jorge Campos 6-1, 7-6 (10-8) in the quarterfinals.

Ruben and Manuel received a bye in the first round.

"We're both at the same level tennis-wise," Morales said. "We know how each other play. We have great chemistry."

Hawk teammates Henry Garcia and Roman Ortiz lost 6-1, 6-1 to Jimenez and Ramirez in the quarterfinals.

Garcia and Ortiz edged Los Banos' third-seeded doubles team of Andy Liu and Jared Haug 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round.

Chris Padilla and Donnavin Koeurn, Ceres High's second-seeded doubles tandem, advanced to the semifinals.

Padilla and Koeurn lost 6-1, 6-4 to Jimenez and Ramirez.

Padilla and Koeurn earned a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 win while battling Livingston's Sam Redmon and Kevin Castro in the quarterfinals.

Ceres High's Juan Hernandez and Will Rodriguez lost 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 to Los Banos' Jack Gerstenberg and Will Marchese.

Lazcano finished in the top eight at the WAC Singles Championships.

Manuel lost 6-1, 6-1 to fourth-seeded Christian Pimentel of Ceres High in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at Livingston High School.

Lazcano topped Pacheco's Oscar Amador 6-0, 6-1 in the opening round.

Seeded third, Morales lost by upset to Ramirez in the first round.

Ramirez rallied for a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory.