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Volleyball team starting over
Ceres High's varsity volleyball team posted a 17-8-2 record, qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the second straight season and finished runner-up in the Western Athletic Conference standings (7-3) last year.

Crosstown-rival Central Valley placed fourth in league play (2-8)

The Bulldogs and Hawks both expect to do well in 2011.

"That's the goal," Ceres High head coach Stephanie Hamilton said. "We still have some experience and talent. They're an aggressive, energetic, positive group. We just have to work hard."

Said Central Valley rookie head coach Margo Arzola: "We'll have a scrappy team."

Ceres High lost six players to graduation, including Jamie Beck, Sabrina Rinsamout, Yvette Huizar, Sherhea Hamilton, Haley Duarte and Meagan Humphres. Beck, a 6-foot-2 standout, accumulated 349 kills, 148 digs, 80 blocks, 47 aces and six assists.

Setter Jessica Ellsworth decided to play golf this fall.

Kiana Crawford (Sr.), Prabhleen Kaur (Sr.), Sofia Luna (Sr.) and Kassondra Jordan (Sr.) returned to the team.

Jordan tallied 45 digs, 25 blocks, seven kills, six assists and four aces a season ago.

Kaur totaled 33 digs, seven blocks, four kills, two assists and one ace.

Crawford collected 20 digs, seven kills, five aces, three blocks and one assist.

Luna added eight digs, two blocks and one assist.

Dia Borden (Jr.), Jordan Cervantez (Jr.), Arianna Mata (Jr.), Kassie Ruiz (Jr.), Diana Salgado (Jr.), Laura Story (Jr.), Aileen Alarcon (Jr.), Harjinder Kaur (Jr.) and Sara Macedo (Sr.) are newcomers.

Borden, Cervantez, Mata, Ruiz, Salgado and Story played at the JV level this past season.

"It's always hard to replace a player like that (Beck)," Hamilton said. "But graduation happens. We're going to utilize multiple talents. Everyone will have a job to do."

The Hawks lost key players Alyssa Long, Jenna Mills and Dalia Aguayo to graduation and head coach Amy Castillo to Delta College.

Margo, Central Valley's new leader, previously coached volleyball at Modesto High and Modesto Christian. She helped direct the Hawks' varsity softball team last spring.

"I love CV," Margo said. "I'll do anything for the kids."

The Hawks return five players with varsity experience: Melinda Camarillo (Sr.), Drucella Miranda (Sr.), Maday Padilla (Sr.), Geena Wade (Sr.) and Breanna Wideman (Sr.).

Padilla earned honorable-mention accolades her junior year.

"Drucella and Maday are great all-round players," Arzola said. "They carry a pretty good punch for their size."

Katie Carpenter (Jr.), Julie Flores (Jr.), Malynda Lomeli (Jr.), Brittany Martinez (Jr.), Jessica Martinez (Jr.), Salena Nevarez (Jr.) and Emily Olides (Jr.) are new to the team.

Brittany, a 6-foot-2 basketball standout, will provide a presence around the net.

Central Catholic won the WAC title with a perfect 10-0 record last year.

Ceres High and Los Banos tied for second.

Livingston placed third (3-7).

Central Valley finished ahead of Patterson (1-9).

"I never have low expectations," Arzola said. "I haven't done my research on the other schools but we should be competitive. We're going to surprise some teams."

"There's more pressure because we've done so well the last few years," Hamilton said.

Ceres High has an all-time record of 9-1 versus Central Valley.

The Bulldogs defeated the Hawks twice (3-1, 3-2) in 2010. Central Valley rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit and nearly upset Ceres High during the second meeting.

"I enjoy rivalries," Arzola said. "It's nice to see school spirit. It pushes the kids."