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CV girls sustains close tennis loss
Buffaloes edge Hawks 5-4 in D-III playoff clash
Central Valleys No. 3 doubles team of Maria Rojas and Guadalupe Becerra (back) edged out Mantecas Julianne Eavenson and Cheyenne Dias 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 11-9 during their first-round playoff matchup on Nov. 4. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Runner-ups in their respective leagues, Central Valley's and Manteca's varsity girls tennis teams battled in the first-round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs earlier this month.

The Hawks of the Western Athletic Conference lost 5-4 to the Buffaloes of the Valley Oak League on Nov. 4 in Manteca.

"It was competitive," Central Valley head coach Mike Rodriguez said. "If we played 10 times, we'd split 5-5 with each other."

The Hawks won three of six singles and one of three doubles matches versus the Buffaloes.

Teresa Diaz defeated Manteca's Elizabeth Tolbert 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in No. 1 singles play.

Chelsea Flores defeated Gladis Sandoval 6-2, 6-1 in No. 5 singles play.

Claudia Martinez defeated Julia Tang 6-3, 7-5 in No. 6 singles play.

Maria Rojas and Guadalupe Becerra defeated Julianne Eavenson and Cheyenne Dias 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 11-9 in No. 3 doubles play.

Jadah Jackson lost 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to Manteca's Koryn Menasco in No. 2 singles play.

Bryana Lopez lost 6-3, 6-3 to Katie Inderbitzin in No. 3 singles play.

Celest Lepe lost 6-1, 6-4 to Taylor Corona in No. 4 singles play.

Amy Nguyen and Vanessa Monroy lost 6-2, 6-3 to Rav Dhillon and Makenna Condit in No. 1 doubles play.

Nicole Munoz and Trinity Avila lost 7-5, 6-1 to Navina Mann and Ivy Benson in No. 2 doubles play.

Dhillon's and Condit's victory gave Manteca an insurmountable 5-3 lead.

"The girls went out there and competed hard," Rodriguez said. "We could have played more aggressive in No. 2, 3 and 4 singles. Those matches were winnable. Manteca was able to win the big points when they needed to."

Central Valley reached new heights over the past two seasons.

The Hawks made history by securing their first-ever playoff berth in 2014.

Central Valley returned to the postseason this year.

The Hawks posted a combined record of 20-4 while finishing in second place twice in the Western Athletic Conference.

"We had a great year," Rodriguez said. "The last two seasons is something to be proud of. They took the tennis program to the next level."

Central Valley will lose nine of its 12 starters to graduation, including Diaz, Jackson, Lopez, Lepe, Flores, Monroy, Nguyen, Munoz and Rojas.

"They put the time in and dedicated themselves to the program," Rodriguez said. "It's definitely what you want as a coach."

The Hawks will face a rebuilding year in 2016.

"It's going to take commitment from a new group of girls the next three to four years," Rodriguez said when asked if Central Valley would ever experience success again on the hardcourts.