Bandna Bhatti and Virginia Moore both improved drastically during their four-year careers with Central Valley High School’s girls tennis program.
The two seniors earned all-Western Athletic Conference South Division honors for their outstanding play this season.
“That comes from the extra work they put in,” Hawks’ head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “They were very dedicated. They were self-motivated. They’d show up to practice early and leave late. It became contagious. Other players started doing it as well.”
Bhatti compiled an 8-2 record at No. 1 singles during the WAC South regular season.
She lost twice to conference champion Kierstyn Cotta of Los Banos.
“She got so much better from last year to this year,” Rodriguez said. “She really put in a lot of extra work.”
Bhatti started at No. 1 singles the past two seasons.
She contributed at No. 6 singles as a sophomore.
She was on the junior-varsity team freshman year.
“I’m really happy with my overall tennis career at Central Valley,” Bhatti said. “It’s been a crazy journey. I worked a lot during the summers to improve my game.”
Bhatti amassed a 2-1 record en route to a second-place finish at the 2020-21 WAC South Division Singles Tournament.
Second-seeded Bhatti lost in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, to top-seeded Cotta during the championship match.
“Coming into the year, we thought she had a really good shot at winning a singles championship,” Rodriguez said. “She’s the third player from Central Valley to get there (to the finals). It doesn’t happen too often. You have to be a special player.”
“It’s really cool to see how far I’ve pushed myself,” Bhatti added.
Moore posted an 8-2 record at No. 2 singles.
“She was more aggressive this year,” Rodriguez said.
Moore contributed at No. 2 singles junior year and doubles as a sophomore and freshman.
“She worked hard,” Rodriguez said. “She was coachable.”
Moore advanced to the semifinals of the 2020-21 WAC South Division Singles Tournament.
She won two of three matches.
She almost upset Los Banos’ Kierstyn Cotta, who earned a berth to the finals with a hard-fought 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2) victory.
Cotta battled back from a 5-2 deficit during the decisive set.
“I’m happy I was able to make it that far,” Moore said. “I wasn’t seeded. I had multiple chances to win.”
Moore teamed up with Edith Amaya while finishing in first place at the WAC South Doubles Tournament. They won all three of their matches.
Moore and Amaya outlasted Los Banos’ Kloe Cotta and Petrina Gilardi 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the finals.
“We had a good connection on the court,” Moore said.
Moore made history by claiming her second straight doubles title.
Moore and Bhatti took first at the 2019-20 Central California Conference Tournament.
Moore and Daniela Yepez won all 14 of their doubles matches during the 2018-19 CCC regular season.
“I’ve had amazing doubles partners,” Moore said. “They’ve always had my back and I’ve had theirs.”
“Virginia’s competitive,” Rodriguez added. “She has that drive to win.”