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'Dogs tennis top Pride in first meeting of season
Tennis 1
Turlock High's No. 1 singles player Maya Young was one of eight victories in Thursday's 8-1 win over Pitman. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The crosstown battle between Turlock and Pitman High girls’ tennis heated up on the court Thursday afternoon when the Pride hosted the Bulldogs in their first Central California Conference clash of the season.

Despite some tough points earned by both squads, the Bulldogs managed to get the better end in an 8-1 victory.

“I think when Pitman plays us, they play up and I think they played well,” said Turlock head coach Linda Bejaran. “We haven't seen them against other teams and it is not like we walked all over them.”

“Great match with Turlock and we were definitely in it with five matches,” said Pitman head coach Jeff Hayes.

The only win for the Pride came from No. 4 singles Ahn Luu, who toppled Turlock's Anna Lima, 6-3, 6-4.

Turlock is now 6-0 in the CCC while Pitman falls to 1-5, having beaten Merced earlier in the year.

“We are in a rebuilding year,” said Hayes.

Turlock's No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles went into a tiebreaker.

The Bulldogs eventually came out on top after No. 2 singles Izzy Romeo defeated Amrit Hayer 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Turlock's No. 1 doubles squad of Taylor Eldridge and Kelly Ziya toppled Pitman's Jackie Mendez and Raj Kaur, 7-5, 1-6 (10-5).

“I am really proud of them. They go out and play and some days they have off days but I tell them to get back into it and there is a lot of pressure when you’ve been No. 1 for a long time,” said Bejaran. “Sometimes they feel it and maybe because it's Pitman they get a little tight.”

Turlock swept the doubles, while the singles side notched five of six wins.

“We had good matches,” said Bejaran. “They were competitive and there were some close matches and points as well. They all stepped up when they needed to.”

Pitman will next travel on the road to take on Atwater at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The next match for undefeated Turlock will be at home against El Capitan at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“There is pressure but recently I switched doubles around a little bit and I think the combination might work a bit,” Bejaran added. “We might work at the game and we have some younger players that are close to get on the ladder and getting and keeping everyone in high competition. We shall see how the second half of league goes.”