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Hawks to rely on wealth of experience
Guadalupe Becerra and Gianna Arce will fill the top singles spots in Central Valley’s starting lineup this fall. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s veteran-laden varsity girls tennis team is looking forward to competing in the Central California Conference this fall.

The Hawks, formerly of the Western Athletic Conference, joined the CCC as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment plan.

“It’s definitely a step up in competition,” head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “The girls are up for the challenge.”

Central Valley will be vying for its fourth playoff appearance in five years.

The Hawks secured the WAC’s third-and-final postseason berth in 2017.

Central Valley compiled a 6-4 record in conference play.

“We’re good enough to go to playoffs. We have a ton of experience.”
Coach Mike Rodriguez

“We’re good enough to go to playoffs,” Rodriguez said. “We have a ton of experience.”

The Hawks return 13 players from last year’s team, including Guadalupe Becerra (Sr.), Gianna Arce (Jr.), Sunaina Dhillon (Sr.), Mixtly Vega (Sr.), Elisabeth Valdez (Sr.), Daniela Yepez (Sr.), Virginia Moore (So.), Lizbeth Martinez (Sr.), Christina Hermenegildo (Jr.), Priscilla Sanchez (Sr.), Sabina Dhillon (So.) and Bandha Bhati (So.).

Guadalupe, Gianna, Sunaina, Mixtly, Elisabeth, Daniela, Virginia, Liz, Christina and Priscilla all started. 

Becerra and Arce both advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 WAC Singles Championships.

Guadalupe earned first-team all-WAC honors for the second consecutive season.

She posted an 8-2 record at No. 1 singles.

Gianna was selected to the WAC First Team as well.

She compiled 7-3 record at No. 2 singles.

Sunaina Dhillon was a second-team, all-league selection.

She had a 7-3 mark while starting at No. 4 singles for the second year in a row.

Becerra and Valdez finished in second-place at the WAC Doubles Championships this past fall. The duo qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Tournament.

“Everybody looks up to Lupe,” Rodriguez said. “She’s pretty quiet. She leads by example with her hustle and play.”

The Hawks’ conference schedule includes matches versus Patterson, Livingston, Merced, Golden Valley, El Capitan, Buhach Colony and Atwater.

Patterson and Livingston also competed in the WAC last season.

“I would like to think with our experience, we could finish near the top,” Rodriguez said. “We got girls that have been playing for several years. They’ve been to the playoffs.”

Central Valley compiled a .500 record this preseason.

The Hawks collected victories against Los Banos (8-1) and Ceres High (6-3).

Central Valley lost to Manteca (8-1) and Gregori (8-1).