A four-year starter on Central Valley’s varsity girls tennis team, Guadalupe Becerra experienced her best season to date as an individual player by finishing second overall at the Central California Conference Singles Championships last week at Merced High School.
“I’m really happy for her,” head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “From where she started from, she made a huge jump. She played No. 3 doubles as a freshman.”
“I surprised myself. I didn’t think I’d be the second-best player in the CCC."Guadalupe Becerra
“I surprised myself,” Becerra added. “I didn’t think I’d be the second-best player in the CCC. My overall goal was to finish in the top four.”
Seeded second, Becerra won three of four matches at the CCC tournament.
She lost 6-0, 6-0 to El Capitan’s Jenasis Yarrell in the finals on Oct. 23.
Yarrell topped Becerra three times this year.
“Lupe played hard,” Rodriguez said. “She did everything she could. Jenasis is one of those girls that’s been playing tennis her whole life. Her dad is a teaching pro.”
“I didn’t perform my best,” Becerra said. “I could have done better. I let my nerves and all the pressure get to me.”
Becerra collected wins against Buhach Colony’s Savin Emanivong (7-6, 2-6, 10-6), El Capitan’s Riddhi Parikh (6-4, 6-2) and Golden Valley’s Karina Figueroa (6-0, 6-1).
Guadalupe topped Savin in the semifinals. She battled back from the 5-2 deficit in the first set.
Becerra erased a 3-0 deficit against Parikh in the quarterfinals.
“That was pretty impressive,” Rodriguez said. “Experience helped her out quite a bit.”
Becerra compiled a 14-4 record against CCC competition this fall.
“There were some tough singles players in the league,” Rodriguez said. “She did an excellent job playing hard all year.”
Becerra advanced to the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference singles tournament as a junior. She finished second at the WAC doubles tournament with Elisabeth Valdez.
Becerra teamed up with Claudia Martinez to win the WAC doubles crown in 2016.
“She improved every year,” Rodriguez said.
Central Valley senior Sunaina Dhillon lost, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), to Atwater’s Anessa Cardenas in the opening round of the 2018 CCC Singles Tournament on Oct. 18.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match,” Rodriguez said. “She was playing Atwater’s top player.”
Dhillon almost forced a third-set, 10-point tiebreaker.
“She had a good shot at winning that match,” Rodriguez said. “She had her chances. She just didn’t get the huge points.”
Dhillon, Central Valley’s No. 3 singles player, amassed an 11-4 record during the CCC season.
“She had a solid year,” Rodriguez said.