Central Valley’s varsity girls tennis team took care of business against Merced and Golden Valley this past week.
The Hawks secured their fourth playoff berth in the past five seasons thanks to their hard-fought victories over the Bears and Cougars.
“The girls knew what was on the line,” coach Mike Rodriguez said. “We talked about it at practice. We had to win both matches to lock up a playoff spot.”
The second-place Hawks improved to 11-2 in the Central California Conference standing after beating host Merced 6-3 for the second time this season on Thursday.
“They’re a quality opponent,” Rodriguez said. “We had to put together a good match to win.”
Central Valley’s Guadalupe Becerra defeated Ano Chuma 6-0, 6-3 in No. 1 singles play.
Mixtly Vega defeated Cailey Holl 6-4, 6-2 in No. 4 singles play.
Elisabeth Valdez defeated Katelyn Huie 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 in No. 5 singles play.
Gianna Arce lost 6-0, 6-0 to Katie Colvin in No. 2 singles play.
Sunaina Dhillon lost 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 to Rebekah Friedman n No. 3 singles play.
Bandna Bhatti lost 4-6, 7-6, 10-5 to Sarah Pagano in No. 6 singles play.
Daniela Yepez and Virginia Moore defeated Denise Papilota and Zoe Hayes 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 in No. 1 doubles play.
Christina Hermenegildo and Lizbeth Martinez defeated Laura Ness and Megan Workman 6-2, 6-3 in No. 2 doubles play.
Sabina Dhillon and Priscilla Sanchez defeated Emily Featherston and Sere Burelson 6-2, 6-7, 10-6 in No. 3 doubles play.
Central Valley escaped with a 5-4 victory against Golden Valley on Oct. 9 in Ceres.
“They’re a tough team,” Rodriguez said. “They gave first-place El Capitan its only loss.”
Yepez and Moore propelled the Hawks past the Cougars.
“It came down to the No. 1 doubles match,” Rodriguez said. “We were fortunate enough to win that one.”
Yepez and Moore improved to 17-0 overall and 13-0 against CCC competition with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
“They haven’t lost a match all year. They work well together. They have experience and a ton of confidence.”Coach Mike Rodriguez
“They haven’t lost a match all year,” Rodriguez said. “They work well together. They have experience and a ton of confidence.”
Hermenegildo and Martinez prevailed 7-5, 6-0 in No. 2 doubles play.
Sanchez and Sabina Dhillon prevailed 6-4, 6-1 in No. 3 doubles play.
Becerra prevailed 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 in No. 1 singles play.
Sunaina Dhillon prevailed 6-1, 6-2 in No. 3 singles play.
Arce lost 6-4, 6-0 in No. 2 singles play.
Vega lost 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in No. 4 singles play.
Valdez lost 6-2, 7-5 in No. 5 singles play.
Bandha lost 6-4, 6-3 in No. 6 singles play.
A newcomer to the CCC this fall, Central Valley previously competed in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Hawks switched league’s as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s conference realignment plan.
“There was uncertainty at the beginning of the year because we had never played most of the teams, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez still had high expectations for the 2018 Hawks.
“This group has been together for three years,” he said. “They’re battled tested. Their first year, they missed playoffs by one match. It’s definitely a pleasure coaching these girls. They’re dedicated. They have fun competing.”