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Dawgs bounce back
• First-year coach Moring pushes all the right buttons
Ceres High varsity girls tennis head coach Brandon Moring honored eight senior players before their final home regular-season match last week. Pictured (left to right): Morgan Bejaran, Shania Evans, Vivian Moreno, Elena Ochoa, Camille Vega, Jaspinder Mann and Lizbeth Barajas. Not pictured: Kaylyn Ramirez. - photo by Contributed

Eliminated from the race for the Western Athletic Conference title, Ceres High’s varsity girls tennis team won one of two matches this past week to finish second overall in the league standings.

The Bulldogs overachieved under first-year coach Brandon Moring’s guidance.

 “All four years I’ve been here, I’ve had new coaches,” Ceres High standout singles player Shania Evans said. “Coach Moring made us believe in ourselves. None of our other coaches did that. That wasn’t their focus.”

“I’m really pleased with the girls’ effort. They gave me everything they had. They worked hard. That’s why they were successful.”
Coach Brandon Moring

“I’m really pleased with the girls’ effort,” Moring added. “They gave me everything they had. They worked hard. That’s why they were successful.”

Host Ceres High coasted to a 9-0 win over Grace Davis on Senior Night last Wednesday.

Evans, Vivian Moreno, Camille Vega, Morgan Bejaran, Elena Ochoa, Lizbeth Barajas, Kaylyn Ramirez and Jaspinder Mann will be lost to graduation this June.

Evans, Moreno, Vega, Bejaran and Ochoa are veteran players.

“It’s tough thinking about the future,” Moring said. “It’s hard to replace girls like that. They’re the leaders of our team. They’re hard workers.”

Ceres High swept all six singles and three doubles matches against Grace Davis.

Evans defeated Adryanna Ege 6-1, 6-0 in No. 1 singles play.

Moreno defeated Maya Neto 6-0 6-1 in No. 2 singles play.

Vega defeated Daylin Macias 6-3, 6-1 in No. 3 singles play.

Gurmen Bahia defeated Sahar Sabaghian 6-2, 6-2 in No. 4 singles play.

Tania Garfias defeated Manveer Bahia 6-0, 6-0 in No. 5 singles play.

Jillian Jimenez defeated Lizbeth Juarez 6-1, 6-0 in No. 6 singles play.

Bejaran and Christel Ontiveros defeated Kishi Kieng and Yarel Espinoza 6-4, 6-1 in No. 1 doubles play.

Jasmine Bahia and Monica Esparza defeated Leilani Rodriguez and Sariyah Heidelberg 2-6, 6-0, 10-7 in No. 2 doubles play.

Ochao and Gurmannet Bahia defeated Teresa Godinez and Emma Brasiel 6-1, 6-0 in No. 3 doubles play.

Ceres High lost 6-3 to visiting Mountain House on Oct. 15.

Evans defeated Elyse Low 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 in No. 1 singles play.

Moreno defeated Katharine Smith 7-6, 6-4 in No. 2 singles play.

Jimenez defeated Kylie Decroos 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in No. 6 singles play.

“They’re the hardest team we’ve faced this season,” Evans said.  

“The score doesn’t show what really happened,” Moring said. ‘We lost two, three-set matches. It could have been 5-4 Ceres.”

The Bulldogs won 11 of their 14 conference matches this fall.

Ceres High lost twice to WAC-champion Mountain House (14-0) and once to third-place Los Banos (11-3).

The Bulldogs experienced a major turnaround in 2018. Ceres High compiled a 3-7 record on its way to a fourth-place finish in the WAC last season.

“We were just playing to play in the past,” Evans said. “We all really wanted to win this year. We fought for it. We worked so hard. We definitely exceeded our goals. The seniors didn’t do it alone. All of the underclassmen stepped up. We became one big family.”

“I’m super happy for them,” Moring said. “We tried to improve every day. That was the goal. We were able to do that.”

Ceres High will return to the postseason following a one-year absence.

The Bulldogs secured the conference’s second playoff berth.

Ceres High edged out Los Banos. The Bulldogs compiled a 1-1 record versus the reigning WAC-champion Tigers this fall.

“We had more sets won than they did,” Moring said. 

“We never thought we’d beat Los Banos because of the past years,” Evans added. “It was very memorable.”

Brackets for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs will be released this Friday.