Ceres High School's varsity wrestling program had its Senior Night spoiled by Livingston last week.
The Wolves also prevented the Bulldogs from earning a trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Team Dual Championships.
"We'll learn and get better from it," Ceres High head coach Steve Festa said. "That's what good teams do. It's going to motivate us to work harder."
The Bulldogs and Wolves both won seven matches while battling to a 39-all tie at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
The official used eighth criteria to determine the winner of the dual.
"Livingston scored first eight times," Festa said. "We scored first six times. If that was tied, we would have gone to a coin flip."
Ceres High, Livingston and Los Banos finished in a three-way tie for second place in the WAC dual-meet standings with identical 4-2 records.
Los Banos (74 points) edged out Ceres High (73) and Livingston (65) for the conference's second and final berth to the section's team dual championships. Coaches used a tiebreaker (overall points scored against each other) to determine the qualifier.
"I was fully expecting us to make it to team sections," Festa said. "It's frustrating we came up short. It's a great learning experience. We have a young team."
Ceres High competed short-handed versus Livingston.
The Bulldogs were missing three key starters, including two for disciplinary reasons and one for a medical-clearance paperwork snafu.
"That was the difference," Festa said. "The guys that competed wrestled their hearts out. I'm proud of their effort. We still gave ourselves a chance to win."
Ceres High battled back from a 27-0 deficit.
Abel Morales evened score at 39-all with a second-round pin (3:00) of Livingston's Diego Solis in the 285-pound division.
"Abel gave up a lot of weight," Festa said. "He usually competes at 220 pounds."
Aiden Moore won by decision (10-7) over Richardo Alcaraz at 140 pounds.
Daniel Raya won by pin (0:35) over Bryan Negrete at 147 pounds.
John Alba won by forfeit at 154 pounds.
Spencer Nelson won by pin (3:07) over Juan Cineras at 162 pounds.
Daniel McElwain won by forfeit at 184 pounds.
Conner Johnson won by pin (5:49) over Harnek Singh at 197 pounds.
Aaron Page lost by decision (14-7) to Elisandro Rangel at 128 pounds.
Brian Quintanilla lost by pin (2:37) to Rene Garcia at 222 pounds.
Michael Vargas lost by pin (3:09) to John Lopez at 115 pounds.
Roman Acosta lost by pin (3:24) to Jose Sanchez at 134 pounds.
Luis Camarillo lost by pin (3:24) to Rainier Colina at 122 pounds.
Diego Diaz lost by pin (3:23) to Miguel Flores at 172 pounds.
The Bulldogs lost by forfeit at 108 pounds.
"We made it interesting," said Festa, whose team dropped the first five individual of the night.
Ceres High had a 9-4 overall record in dual-meet competition this season. Nine of the Bulldogs' 14 starters are underclassmen.
"It's amazing what they've achieved," Festa said. "They're one of the best teams I've ever coached."