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CV girls wrap up tennis season
Lesly Rivas and Angie Medrano
Lesly Rivas and Angie Medrano represented Central Valley High School’s girls tennis program at the CCC Championships last month in Atwater. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley High School’s Angie Medrano, Lesly Rivas, Samantha Perez-Mendez and Analy Gomez concluded their prep girls tennis careers this past month in Atwater.

The four seniors, along with sophomore Lizeth Cazarez represented the Hawks at the Central California Conference Championships.

Medrano and Rivas both compiled identical 0-1 records while competing in the CCC Singles Tournament.

Medrano, who was sidelined the previous month with an ankle injury, lost 6-2, 6-4 to an El Capitan competitor in the first round.

“I’m super proud of her for even wanting to come back,” Central Valley coach Nimrat Chahal said. “She practiced three days straight and gave it a go at the tournament. She adjusted her style a little bit. She wasn’t moving as fast. She wasn’t hitting the ball as hard. Everything was slower. She would have won a match or two if she wasn’t rusty.”

Rivas lost 6-3, 6-2 to an El Capitan player.

“It was a competitive match,” Chahal said. “She (Rivas) was happy with her performance. She gave it her all.”

Medrano and Rivas posted 3-4 and 3-12 records, respectively, versus league competition this fall.

Medrano played No. 1 singles for the Hawks prior to injuring her ankle.

“She beat a lot of girls that were better than her,” Chahal said. “She found ways to win. She’s very competitive. Her athleticism is her best skill. She gets to every single ball. She’s very fast.”

Rivas split playing time at No. 2 and 1 singles.

“Her serve was the best in the league in terms of power,” Chahal said. 

Medrano and Rivas both suited up for Central Valley’s girls tennis team for three years.

“They improved drastically,” Chahal said. “They worked extremely hard. They didn’t miss a lot of practices. They were really committed.”

Medrano played exhibition matches sophomore year.

She filled the No. 4 singles spot in the lineup as a junior.

“Angie’s first year, she didn’t play in an official match,” Chahal said. “She couldn’t hit a tennis ball to save her life.”

A No. 3 doubles player as a sophomore, Rivas contributed at singles junior year.

“She got so much better,” Chahal said. “She would stay after practice and work on her serve by herself.”

Rivas and third-year player Perez-Mendez won one of two matches while teaming up at the CCC Doubles Tournament on Oct. 26.

Rivas and Perez-Mendez topped Buhach Colony’s doubles tandem 7-6 (7-0), 7-5 in the opening round.

Rivas and Perez-Mendez lost 6-2, 6-0 to Patterson’s Leanna Nzoule and Krystal Galvez in the quarterfinals.

“They actually played really well,” Chahal said. “They could have made it to semifinals if they played somebody else in the second round. They ended up having to play the No. 1 seed.”

Rivas and Perez-Mendez are close friends.

“They’ve been playing together in practice for the whole year,” Chahal said. “Both of them have good serves and are pretty good at the net.”

Gomez, a second-year player, and Cazarez lost 6-2, 6-1 to Patterson’s Shantell Nzoule and Joyce Mulumba in the first round.

Gomez filled in for senior Lliria Lira, who couldn’t compete at the CCC Doubles Tournament due to another school commitment.

“They (Gomez and Cazarez) never played together,” Chahal said. “They had a couple days of practice. They were both really nervous after they saw who they had to play. Having more experience would have helped out. The first set, a lot of games went to deuce. That match wasn’t one-sided.”