Central Valley High School girls tennis players Bandna Bhatti, Virginia Moore, Sabina Dhillon, Eliza Quetzel, Edith Amaya and Manmeet Kaur competed at home for the final time this past week.
The six seniors were recognized prior to the start of the Hawks’ Western Athletic Conference South Division regular-season finale versus Pacheco March 24 in Ceres.
“They were all a pleasure to coach,” Central Valley leader Mike Rodriguez said. “They all worked hard. They really improved over their years playing.”
The Hawks rolled to 9-0 victory against the Panthers.
Central Valley swept all six singles and three doubles matches.
Bhatti defeated Jacqueline Vega Gomez 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 in No. 1 singles play.
Moore defeated Aaliyah Lucas 6-0, 6-3 in No. 2 singles play.
Dhillon defeated Ariannah Sanchez 6-3, 6-1 in No. 3 singles play.
Amaya defeated Sophia O’Brien 6-0, 6-2 in No. 4 singles play.
Jessica Saini defeated Bianca Montoya Chavez 6-2, 3-2 (retired) in No. 5 singles play.
Kaur defeated Sontee Schofield 6-3, 6-4 in No. 6 singles play.
Quetzel and Alika Victorino defeated Elizabeth Gonzalez and Izabella Oseguera 6-4, 6-4 in No. 1 doubles play.
Harman Kaur and Navreet Pattar, Central Valley’s No. 2 doubles team, won by forfeit.
Lesly Rivas and Leslie Camacena, Central Valley’s No. 3 doubles team, also prevailed by forfeit.
The Hawks enjoyed a major turnaround this year by amassing an 8-4 overall record and finishing in second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (6-2).
“Our expectations are always high,” Rodriguez said.
“Pretty solid finish,” he added. “We got some strong play from singles this year. Five out of our six players are seniors. That helped a lot because they had experience.”
Central Valley lost twice to tradition-rich Los Banos (8-0).
“I thought we could have split with Los Banos,” Rodriguez said. “There were some close matches.”
The Hawks compiled a 2-12 record en route to a sixth-place finish in the Central California Conference during the 2019-20 school year.
The Hawks moved from the CCC to the WAC for just this season for travel and public health reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We didn’t know what the WAC had to offer,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been a few years since we’ve been in this league. We’ve never played the majority of the teams. We expected to do well.”
Playoffs were axed in an effort to allow student-athletes as much time as possible to play some matches during the 2020-21 COVID-19 shortened season.
“I’m a little bummed about it,” Rodriguez said. “Playoffs are a reward for your team’s hard work. On the flip side, we’re thankful we were able to have a season this year.”
High school athletics had been put on hold since mid-March when the statewide shutdown began in response to the pandemic.
Coronavirus safety requirements, including wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance, had to be followed this spring.
Bhatti, Moore, Dhillon, Quetzel, Amaya, Manmeet Kaur and fellow seniors Arely Acevedo and Leslie Camacena will be lost to graduation this June.
Saini, Victorino, Pattar, Rivas, Harman Kaur, Malina Keomuangchanh, Marlene Jaquez, Angelica Medrano, Esmeralda Mondragon, Samantha Perez, Alondra Robles and Kaitlyn Teng could rejoin the team this fall.
“We’ll have five new singles players next year,” Rodriguez said. “We’ll be rebuilding.”