For the fifth consecutive season, the Turlock High varsity boys tennis team are the Central California Conference Champions. The Bulldogs secured the title after sweeping Pitman, 5-4, in the CCC finale Thursday for an 11-1 league record.
This also adds to head coach Jack Schneider’s list of accolades, having won three straight in three years as the boys varsity coach.
“We’re all pretty stoked to get the trifecta. I reminded the guys that the history of the team is we just win championships is what I told them,” said Schneider. “But they know the pressure of my last two teams and how good they were. This year we had to grind it out on the doubles, but I knew our singles were solid.”
When it came to singles, Schneider had the luxury of four-year varsity tennis players, his No. 2 singles, Ziya Ziya, who won the CCC doubles tournament last year and went 11-1 in league matches.
Aside from that, the top CCC singles player in Davis Griffin, Schneider's No. 1 player was a big anchor to a strong one-two punch and he didn't lose in league all year.
“I am a perfectionist and I feel Davis is now as well,” said Schneider. “It’s the mentality and how you carry yourself on the court, my dad taught me, he said you have to believe in yourself, if you screw up you can’t blame anyone but yourself. It's just you, if you mess up, you mess up.”
The Bulldogs of Turlock secured at least half the title after topping Buhach Colony, 5-4 on Tuesday, but a victory was needed on Thursday—against CCC crosstown foe Pitman.
Turlock won five of six singles matches, securing the 5-4 win over their rivals.
“(It was a) tight match again — three sets at No. 3,4, 5 singles and No. 1 doubles. Turlock prepared well and played a great match,” said Pitman head coach Jeff Hayes.
Pitman ends the regular season with a third-place record of 8-4 in the CCC.
“We congratulate them. Pitman boys look forward to joining them in playoffs in May,” said Hayes.
Pitman won three of three in doubles and the No. 6 singles was their fourth victory.
The season is far from over for the Pride, however.
Before embarking on the playoffs, Turlock and Pitman will compete in the CCC Singles Tournament starting at 9 a.m. April 25 at Pitman High. The doubles tournament will take place April 27.