Central Valley's varsity girls tennis team closed out the 2017 season last week.
The Hawks lost 8-1 on the road to the heavily-favored Lodi Flames in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs on Oct. 30.
"There wasn't any pressure," Central Valley head coach Mike Rodriguez said. "We were the 14th seed. They were third. They were supposed to win based on their seeding."
The Hawks compiled a 6-6 record and finished in third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (6-4) in 2017.
"Overall, I'm pretty satisfied," said Rodriguez, whose team qualified for the playoffs for the third time in four years. "We just missed out on the playoffs last season. It was nice to get the seniors there this year."
Elisabeth Valdez prevented Central Valley from being shutout this past week by edging Jenna Dougherty 6-4, 6-7, 10-5 in No. 6 singles play.
"That's the best match she played all year," Rodriguez said. "She was very good at the net. She was aggressive. That really helped her out."
Guadalupe Becerra lost 6-0, 6-0 to Emma Canepa in No. 1 singles play.
Gianna Arce lost 6-0, 6-0 to Nikki Barajas in No. 2 singles play.
Adriana Escobedo lost 6-0, 6-0 to Johanna Schroeder in No. 3 singles play.
Suinana Dhillon lost 3-6, 6-4, 10-2 to Gabi Borra in No. 4 singles play.
Mixtly Vega lost 6-1, 6-0 to Mia Carouba in No. 5 singles play.
Daniela Yepez and Nayeli Castellanos lost 6-3, 7-5 to Alyssa Mataga and Kayley Mataga in No. 1 doubles play.
Jocelyn Rodriguez and Virginia Moore lost 6-2, 6-3 to Franchesca Petersen and Jenn Mulrooney in No. 2 doubles play.
Lizbeth Martinez and Christina Hermenegildo lost 6-2, 4-6, 11-9 to Megan Kim and Cece Chinchiolo in No. 3 doubles play.
"I don't think we played too bad," coach Rodriguez said. "I thought we should have won a couple more matches."
The Hawks will be vying for their fourth postseason appearance in five years next fall.
Central Valley's lineup will be loaded with experience.
The Hawks will be losing just two of their 12 starters to graduation.
"I'm pretty excited," Mike Rodriguez said. "We'll have a lot of returners. We'll be competitive."
Central Valley will move to the Central California Conference as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section's league realignment plan for 2018-19.
"We should still do pretty decent," coach Rodriguez said.
Two days removed from being eliminated from Sac-Joaquin Section playoff contention, Central Valley's varsity girls volleyball team spoiled crosstown-rival Ceres High's Senior Night with a 3-2 (25-19, 8-25, 18-25, 25-12, 25-11) win on Oct. 25 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
"We ended our season on a good note," Hawks' third-year standout Mariana Garibay said.
Central Valley compiled an 11-13 overall record and tied for third place in the Western Athletic Conference (7-8) with Livingston.
Ceres High (5-10) finished fourth in the WAC standings.
The top three teams in the WAC qualified for the postseason.
The Wolves were awarded the conference's final playoff berth based on their 2-1 head-to-head record versus the Hawks.
Central Valley participated in the postseason the previous three years.
"It sucks not being able to make it to playoffs this year," Garibay said. "I'm not sure what we could have done differently. We gave it our all. The competition was a lot better compared to previous years."
Central Valley beat Ceres High three times this fall.
The Hawks topped the Bulldogs 3-2 (15-25, 25-16, 18-25, 27-25, 15-8) on Sept. 20 and 3-1 (25-21, 12-25, 25-12, 25-17) on Oct. 9.
"Those matches are always more intense," Garibay said. "We're rival schools."
Central Valley battled back from a 2-1 deficit in beating Ceres High during the third meeting.
"There was no pressure," Garibay said. "We were relaxed. We were all really confident."
The Hawks and Bulldogs faced off for the final time in WAC play.
Central Valley will compete in the Central California Conference next year.
Ceres High will remain in the WAC.
"I'm pretty sure we'll play them in the preseason in future years," Garibay said. "I think we should always play each other."