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Three-peat for Bulldogs
Ceres High varsity boys tennis team captures its third straight WAC championship
Central Valleys Oscar Gomez (pictured at the net) and Jorge Bustos defeated Ceres Highs Heath Adrian and Dennis Phommalinh 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 in No. 2 doubles play. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity boys tennis team captured its third consecutive Western Athletic Conference title this past week.

The visiting Bulldogs secured the WAC's No. 1 playoff seed with an 8-1 victory against crosstown-rival Central Valley on April 14.

Ceres High improved to 26-0 on the year and finished undefeated in WAC play (12-0) for the second year in a row.

The Bulldogs also notched their 31st consecutive league win.

"It's pretty cool," said Alick Liang, Ceres High's No. 3 singles player. "We win a lot. But we work hard. Our team is so strong because we're deep."

The Hawks (9-3) tied for second place in the WAC standings with Central Catholic. The two teams will play a tiebreaker match on April 28 to determine the conference's No. 2 and 3 playoff seeds.

The Bulldogs won all six singles and two of three doubles matches versus the Hawks.

Liang beat Central Valley's Edgar Castillo in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

Nolan McCaig beat Alexis Zigala 6-0, 6-0 in No. 1 singles play.

Julio Ochoa beat Alexis Villa 6-0, 6-0 in No. 2 singles play.

Chase Harden beat Eric Morales 6-0, 6-1 in No. 4 singles play.

Rene Cortes beat Brandyn Weis 6-0, 6-1 in No. 5 singles play.

Jordan Mey outlasted Gerardo Rivas 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in No. 6 singles play.

Juan Jimenez and Shane Kumar beat Ruben Morales and Nimrit Chahal 6-0, 6-4 in No. 1 doubles play.

Jorge Ruiz and Waleed Majeed beat Jesus Cuevas and Navjot Kanda 6-4, 6-1 in No. 3 doubles play.

Heath Adrian and Dennis Phommalinh lost 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 to Central Valley's Jorge Bustos and Oscar Gomez in No. 2 doubles play.

"We have a great team," McCaig said. "We play every single match like it's our last."

Ceres High improved its all-time record against Central Valley to 16-0.

The Bulldogs will participate in the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

The Hawks will make their first-ever postseason appearance.

Ceres High advanced to the finals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Tournament last season.

"We're successful in this area," Liang said. "Winning a section title will boost our recognition. We're not really acknowledged. Tennis is not that popular of a sport at Ceres High. Even my friends don't know how good we are."