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Ochoa, CHS teammates compete at Sac-Joaquin Section tourneys
Advances to quarterfinals of D-II Individual Tournament
Bulldog Julio Ochoa compiled a 1-1 record en route to a top-eight finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Tournament last month in Roseville. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Ceres High varsity boys tennis standout Julio Ochoa finished in the top eight at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Tournament, staged May 7-8, at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville.

"I would have performed better if I could have played at my full potential," said Ochoa, who was forced to serve underhand due to a right shoulder injury. "You just have to work with what you have and adapt."

Julio compiled a 1-1 record at the section tournament.

Bulldog teammate Nolan McCaig lost 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Inderkum's Hermont Legaspi in the finals.

"It could have been an all-Ceres finale if Julio was healthy," Bulldogs head coach Bryan Harden said. "He's got that kind of game. He's an awesome player. It (serving underhand) changes everything. There are no easy points."

Ochoa lost 6-4, 6-1 to top-seeded Bryant Johnson of Rio Americano in the quarterfinals.

Ochoa defeated Benicia's Nate Tabtab 6-2, 6-1 in the first round.

"He played hard," Harden said. "He played smart."

Ochoa qualified for the section's individual tournament three times during his four-year career with the Bulldogs.

"I'm definitely going to miss him," Harden said. "It's been a great ride. He had all the shots. His patience set up everything."

Ceres High had two tandems compete at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Doubles Tournament last month at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club.

Seniors Manny Jimenez and Dennis Phommalinh posted a 1-1 record on their way to advancing the quarterfinals.

"They got a good draw," coach Harden said. "They played well. They were patient and aggressive at the same time. I was proud of their effort. They really stepped up."

Jimenez and Phommalinh defeated Yuba City's Jeremy Cruz and Nethan Sanchez 6-2, 7-5 in the opening round.

Manny and Dennis lost 6-0, 6-0 to Manteca's runner-up doubles team of Yok-Jing Ma and Michael Lopez in the quarterfinals.

Ma and Lopez fell 6-2, 6-2 to Rio Americano's Jack Lonergan and Sarthak Saxena in the finals.

Ceres High seniors Chase Harden and Rene Cortes lost in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, to Vanden's J.D. Bobo and Reis Vince Cruz in the opening round.

"Neither one of them played extremely well," Bryan Harden said. "It was a match they could have won if the played a little stronger. They lost to a solid team. If they would have won, they would have played the No. 1 seed."