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Youth-laden Dawgs gain experience
Heese and group
Ceres High’s youth-laden girls volleyball team gained valuable experience under Coach Kelly Heese’s guidance this fall. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The members of Ceres High’s girls volleyball team gained valuable experience during the 2023 season.

“With having a young team this year, we knew it was going to be a building year,” Bulldogs head coach Kelly Heese said. 

“We had many rough moments, but good and exciting moments as well,” said Ceres High junior Ava Montesdeoca. “Each game was always something new. That was the fun part about it. You didn’t know what to expect. We may have not had many wins, but at the end of the season we had new friendships and memories.”

Ceres High posted a 5-13 overall record and tied for sixth place with Pacheco in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 3-11 mark.

Beyer (14-0), Lathrop (12-2), Mountain House (10-4), Los Banos (8-6) and Grace Davis (6-8) took first, second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Johansen (0-14) finished last.

The Bulldogs won a pair of matches versus Johansen and split with Pacheco in WAC play.

Ceres High got swept by Beyer, Lathrop, Mountain House, Los Banos and Grace Davis.

The Bulldogs topped Central Valley and Livingston during non-conference action.

“I think we competed to the best of our ability,” Heese said.

“The season wasn’t the turnout we expected but it was a great experience with a team of underclass girls from freshmen to juniors,” Montesdeoca added.

Approximately 10 players suited up for the Bulldogs this fall, including underclassmen Isabella Bravo (So.), Sovannary Carter (So.), Amaia Ferrel (So.), Brisya Juarez (So.), Jadyn Garcia (Fr.) and Priya Martinez (Fr.)

Montesdeoca, Alana Inahara (Jr.), Ellie Tigerino (Jr.) and Mariah Zamora (Jr.) rounded out Ceres High’s roster.

“Us girls definitely developed a lot together,” Montesdeoca stated. “I would say our girls were best at always going for balls out of the court, trying to get it back over the net. Definitely the best effort you can ask for.”

Ceres High will lose no players to graduation.

Montesdeoca, Inahra, Tigerino, Zamora, Bravo, Carter, Ferrel, Juarez, Garcia and Martinez could all return to the team next fall.

“Moving forward into next year, I do believe we should hold our own nicely with the additions from the JV team,” Heese said.