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Timberwolves edge Dawgs in tennis
Ceres High School's varsity girls tennis team edged Sierra 5-4 during the preseason.

The Timberwolves exacted revenge with an identical-score victory against the Bulldogs in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Playoffs on Oct. 29.

"We should have beat them," Ceres High head coach Bryan Harden said. "It wasn't for a lack of effort. It just didn't go our way."

The Bulldogs compiled an 8-7 overall record, finished third in the Western Athletic Conference (7-5) and qualified for playoffs for the sixth year in a row.

Sierra lost 9-0 to Metropolitan Conference champion McClatchy in the second round of the playoffs. The Timberwolves posted a 16-5 record and finished second in the Valley Oak League this season.

"We at least accomplished one of our goals," Harden said. "We continued our playoff streak. We've been fortunate for a long period of time."

Players from both teams lined the fence at court six as Ceres High's Gabby Blandino and Laura Cahill engaged in a three-set, match-deciding battle at No. 2 doubles with Sierra's Barbara Baxter and Kelsey Wells.

Baxter and Wells prevailed, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

Down 4-1 in the third set, Blandino and Cahill won three straight games to pull even. Gabby and Laura, first-year tennis players, just couldn't complete the comeback.

"The girls hung in there," Harden said. "They kept fighting. They did awesome. I couldn't be more proud of them."

The Bulldogs won three of six singles and one of three doubles matches versus the Timberwolves

Ceres High's Marifer Ochoa defeated Valley Oak League champion Vannida Nguyen 6-2, 6-1 in No. 1 singles play.

Lizzy Magana defeated Annie Banks 6-2, 6-4 in No. 5 singles play.

Kim Ochoa defeated Rosie Reynolds 6-3, 7-5 in No. 6 singles play.

Bianca Deanda and Angelica Slater defeated Liana Bassett and Simran Thind 7-5-, 6-2 in No. 3 doubles play.

Kaylee Donovan lost 7-5, 6-2 to Naomi Nunis in No. 2 singles play.

"It was a good match," Harden said.

Manpreet Bahia lost 6-3, 6-0 to Anna Cardenas in No. 3 singles play.

Kiran Kainth lost 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to Maddie Banks in No. 4 singles play.

Kainth beat Banks earlier this season.

Maddie battled back from a 4-3 deficit in the third set during last week's meeting.

"Kiran should have won," Harden said.

Justine and Jolyce Vega lost 6-1, 6-0 to Brenda Padilla and Emma Hunter in No. 1 doubles play.

Ceres High will be striving for continued success in 2013.

"I'm never satisfied," Harden said. "I expect a lot from my kids. That just comes with winning."