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Turlock tennis caps off perfect regular season
turlock tennis 4-17
Turlock’s top ranked player Peter Wilson, defeated Pitman’s Ryan Yamamoto in a pair of 6-1 sets to help the Bulldogs win 7-2 in Tuesday’s regular season finale and improve his personal record on the season to 12-0. - photo by Candy Padilla

Admittedly, Turlock High senior and top ranked tennis player Peter Wilson wasn’t sure what to expect of this year’s varsity team at the start of the season in February, as four key players (including former Central California Athletic League singles champion Joe Chan) had graduated last summer. Flash forward to Tuesday afternoon, the Bulldogs defeated the Pitman Pride 7-2 to finish with a regular season record of 12-0 — the program’s first perfect season since 2014.


“This is such a great group,” said third-year coach Garry Harris. “It’s definitely been a special season.”


This year, the Bulldogs went 100-8 in singles and doubles competition, with two of those losses coming in a pair of doubles matches on Tuesday. Wilson and junior Erik Peterson each finished the season with 12-0 records in singles play.


Wilson defeated Ryan Yamamoto in a pair of 6-1 sets, while Peterson took down David Cisnetos 6-1, 6-0. In the three-seeded match, Matteo Hernandez was perfect with two 6-0 sets against Ben Valdez. Damian Acosta won 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) over Sebastian Russell while Jessie Gomez rounded out the singles matchups with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Keerit Kaeley. Turlock’s top doubles team of Peter Blue and Rashmeet Singh were also victorious, defeating Derrick Orth and Anthony Stessman 6-3, 6-4.


The two Pitman wins came courtesy of the junior duo of Matthew Yaghoubi and Christiano Barkhoy and the grouping of junior Ethan Hofsteen and sophomore Calvin Lin. Yaghoubi and Barkhoy defeated the Turlock group of Edris and Yaqoob Tarakhail by a 6-3, 6-4 score. Meanwhile, Hofsteen and Lin seated the pairing of Maddox Pearson and Joshua Benjamin 6-4, 6-0.


As the Bulldogs celebrated perfection, the Pride dropped to 6-7 overall and to 4-6 in CCAL play.


“We were kind of worried that, because a lot of our seniors (last year) were singles players or some of our key doubles players, without them we were a little worried about who was going to be able to step up. But we have a lot of kids that were taking lessons and really committed and have shown a lot of growth and helped our team be as good as we’ve been,” WIlson said of his teammates.


“Being undefeated is great,” added Harris. “But I’d like to think we have some bigger goals for ourselves this season.”


Next Tuesday, the Bulldogs will be represented at the CCAL singles tournament. The league doubles tournament is on Thursday. 


Wilson is looking to make it three straight finals appearances on Tuesday. In each of the past two seasons, he faced off with Chan and lost to him both times. With Chan graduated, he is hoping that another one of his teammates rises to the challenge to meet him in this year’s finals. He also believes that next week’s tournaments can help elevate the team’s play ahead of CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff competition, which would start the following Thursday. 


“With the tournament coming up, I hope to make sections again this year. And I'm also really excited for the team playoffs this year,” he said. “We have a really well-rounded team. I think we might have a chance to at least get out of the first round. We haven't done that for a while at least. So I think that'll be refreshing to get out and maybe travel somewhere and get some more experiences against higher level players.”


Last season, the Bulldogs were bounced by Franklin (Elk Grove) by a 6-3 score in the first round of the section team tournament.


This year’s CCAL singles and doubles tournaments will take place at Modesto Junior College, with action getting underway at 8 a.m. each day.