Central Valley High School’s girls tennis program will compete in a different league this year.
The Hawks are moving from the Central California Conference to the Western Athletic Conference for just one season for travel and public health reasons.
“We’re just trying to get the kids some matches,” coach Mike Rodriguez said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. The important thing is we get to have a season.”
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.
High school athletics have 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, must be followed.
“We’re overly cautious,” Rodriguez said. “We’re following the protocols. That’s all we can do.”
Members of the Western Athletic Conference South, the Hawks will have home and away matches against Ceres High, Johansen, Los Banos and Pacheco.
The conference has decided to not stage singles and doubles tournaments this year.
Central Valley compiled a 2-12 record en route to a sixth-place finish in the CCC during the 2019-20 school year.
“I don’t know what the other schools have to offer this season,” Rodriguez said.
Central Valley has a total of 20 players on its roster, including Arely Acevedo (Sr.), Edith Amaya (Sr.), Bandna Bhatti (Sr.), Leslie Camacena (Sr.), Sabina Dhillon (Sr.), Manmeet Kaur (Sr.), Virginia Moore (Sr.), Eliza Quetzel (Sr.), Harman Kaur (Jr.), Malina Keomuangchanh (Jr.), Navreet Pattar, Jessica Saini (Jr.), Alika Victorino (Jr.), Marlene Jaquez (So.), Angelica Medrano (So.), Esmeralda Mondragon (So.), Samantha Perez (So.), Lesly Rivas (So.), Alondra Robles (So.) and Kaitlyn Teng (So.).
“We got a lot of returners but most of them played doubles last year. I’d be happy with a .500 record. I’m just happy the girls have an opportunity to have a season.”Coach Mike Rodriguez
“We got a lot of returners but most of them played doubles last year,” Rodriguez said. “I’d be happy with a .500 record. I’m just happy the girls have an opportunity to have a season.”
The Hawks’ starting lineup consists of Bhatti, Moore, Dhillon, Amaya, Saini, Manmeet Kaur, Harman Kaur, Keomuangchanh, Victorino, Quetzel, Camacena and Pattar.
Bhatti, Moore, Dhillon, Amaya, Saini and Manmeet Kaur are singles player.
Keomuangchanh, Victorino, Quetzel, Camacena, Pattar and Harman Kaur are doubles players.
Bhatti and Moore made program history during the 2019-20 school year by becoming the second doubles team from Central Valley to claim a league championship and qualify for the section tournament.
Seeded third, Bhatti and Moore compiled a perfect 4-0 record en route finishing in first place at the CCC Tournament. They upset Merced’s top-seeded tandem of Kate Colvin and Laura Ness 6-2, 6-1 in the finals.
Bhatti and Moore are fourth-year players.
“They’re the leaders of the team,” Rodriguez said. “They’ve been around the longest and have had the most success. They’ve gotten a lot better.”