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Patriots 5, Hawks 4 in tennis
Central Valleys varsity girls tennis team participated in the playoffs for the first time in program history last week. Jadah Jackson, pictured above, contributed at No. 3 singles. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Competing in the postseason for the first time in program history, Central Valley's High School's varsity girls tennis team suffered a hard-to-stomach loss.

The Hawks, the Western Athletic Conference's No. 2 seed, dropped a 5-4 decision to Tri-County Conference runner-up Pioneer of Woodland in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs on Nov. 4 in Ceres.

"It's heartbreaking," Central Valley head coach Mike Rodriguez said. "The girls worked so hard."

The Hawks and Patriots posted identical 10-2 records in their respective leagues.

Tied at 4-4, Pioneer secured last week's victory on the strength of its win at No. 1 doubles.

Joyce Yu and Trish Tran defeated Central Valley's Chelsea Flores and Princess Pe in three sets, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

"The two teams were evenly matched," Rodriguez said. "It could have gone either way."

The Hawks won three of six singles and one of three doubles matches versus the Patriots.

Emely Amaya defeated Pioneer's Melinda Walker 6-2, 6-4 in No. 1 singles play.

Celest Lepe defeated Abby Trip 6-3, 6-2 in No. 5 singles play.

Evelyn Andrade defeated Liliana Juarez 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) in No. 6 singles play.

Ayme Nguyen and Vanessa Monroy defeated Analisa Quintero and Vanessa Gallegos 6-2, 6-0 in No. 2 doubles play.

Naomi Torres lost 6-3, 6-1 to Jenny Bates in No. 2 singles play.

Jadah Jackson lost 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-0 to Abby Konkaem in No. 3 singles play.

Teresa Diaz lost 6-3, 6-3 to Olivia Bryan in No. 4 singles play.

Sorrayar Sounthala and Samantha Sotomayor lost 6-4, 6-1 to Patty Morales and Jackie Gomez in No. 3 doubles play.

Central Valley made history this year by securing its first-ever playoff berth.

The Hawks won 10 of their 12 league matches.

Amaya was voted WAC co-MVP.

She advanced to the finals of the conference's singles championships.

Emely also qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Tennis Tournament
Unseeded, Diaz finished fourth at the WAC championships.

Teresa earned first-team all-conference honors.

"I'm real proud of them," Rodriguez said. "They played hard all year. They set a really good standard for our program."

Central Valley will lose five players to graduation, including Amaya, Torres, Pe, Sounthala and Sotomayor.

"We got seven girls coming back," Rodriguez said. "They have playoff experience. That's a good foundation for us. We'll be shooting for playoffs again."