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Real perfection
Ceres High senior Luis Ochoa walked to the center of Court 1 at Central Valley High School's tennis facility and shook hands with Sierra junior Kevin Rausa.

Ochoa successfully defended his Valley Oak League singles championship by posting a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rausa in windy conditions on Thursday at Central Valley.

He kept looking over his shoulder while being interviewed.

Luis was drenched with ice water after claiming the 2009 conference crown.

"Everyone expected this from me," said Ochoa, who compiled a perfect 32-0 record in league play this year. "There was a lot of pressure."

Ochoa dropped the first game of the opening set to Rausa. Luis wasn't worried.

"It wasn't that big of a deal," he said. "It's happened before against him."

Kevin wasn't a pushover.

"He's scrappy," Bulldogs head coach Brian de la Porte said. "He's a good athlete. He'll be the favorite next year."

Luis' dominant run puts him in elite company.

Ochoa, Garrett Deering and McKenzy Harden are considered to be the top three players in Ceres High's tennis history.

Deering, a 1983 Ceres High graduate, won more than 100 matches during his four-year career. He claimed the Golden Valley League singles championship as a senior. Garrett also led the Bulldogs to back-to-back conference titles.

Deering played for Phil de la Porte, Brian's father.

Phil watched last week's title match.

Harden won her third straight conference crown during the girls season. She had a career record of 161-9. McKenzy reeled off 97 consecutive wins in league.

Both Ochoa and Harden led their respective teams to VOL titles.

"It's been a great year for Ceres High tennis," said Brian de la Porte, whose team also qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs for the third time in four seasons.

Ochoa posted a combined record of 88-9 during his senior, junior and freshman years.

"He's one of the school's two best boys players in the last 30 years," Brian said. "It's been fun watching him. He really works hard at it. That's what separates him from other kids."

Luis won 30 0f 36 matches and tied for eighth at the VOL singles tournament in 2007. Last year, he went 26-3 and topped Sonora's Vicente Mosso 6-4, 6-0 for the conference title. Ochoa lost twice to Mosso during the regular season.

Luis entered the 2010 campaign with one goal in mind.

"Winning it twice is great," he said. "I wish I could have done it three times."

Ochoa's grades slipped during his sophomore year and he was ruled ineligible.

He had no choice but to make studying a priority. He also completed his homework.

"I started trying a lot harder in school," Luis said.

Ochoa will continue his tennis career at Fresno City College

"I think that will be a good fit for him," Brian said.