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The Ceres High varsity volleyball team had Central Valley on the ropes and just couldn't close the door.

In the first Valley Oak League matchup between the crosstown rivals this season, the Hawks rallied from a two games to none deficit to beat the Bulldogs 3-2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13) on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

The victory sparked a wild celebration as Central Valley earned its first-ever conference win in its two-year history. The Hawks ended a 19-match losing streak.

"It's not going to be the last either," senior Crystal Gutierrez said.

Sophomore Kaela Causey led Central Valley (1-6) with nine kills, five digs and four aces. Junior Julie Calderon had nine assists. Senior Natalie Melton tallied four blocks. Junior Ruby Ramirez contributed four aces.

Sophomore Jode Johnson led Ceres High (1-6) with seven kills, five digs and three blocks. Senior Chelsea Lomeli had 10 assists and three aces. Senior Kaylee Brown tallied seven kills. Junior Aimee Gunzenhauser contributed four aces.

Central Valley appeared finished after Ceres High took a 2-0 lead. But the Hawks mounted a furious comeback.

"They thought they were going to win so they relaxed," Gutierrez said. "We fought back."

Central Valley used a 19-7 run to turn a 5-1 deficit into a 20-12 lead in Game 3. Ceres' surge came to late.

"My biggest worry was when Julie and Crystal collided," Central Valley coach Debb Causey said. "Julie hyperextended the index and middle fingers on her right hand. She's our lead setter."

Led by Calderon, the Hawks built a 22-12 lead and held on for a six-point victory in Game 4.

In the fifth and decisive game, Central Valley battled back from seven two-point deficits. Down 12-10, the Hawks accounted for five of the final six points to secure the win.

"I'm not surprised at all because we believe in each other," Gutierrez said. "We trust each other."

"My girls never give up," coach Causey said. "That's a huge difference between last year and this year. We're the happy team whether we're winning or losing."

The Hawks lost all 14 of their league matches in 2006, including twice to the Bulldogs (3-1, 3-0).

Central Valley's breakthrough victory came on Ceres High's home court.

"To win here makes it all the better because so many people said we couldn't beat Ceres," coach Causey said.

"It's payback," Gutierrez added. "They beat us by a lot last year."