They might be humble and quiet, but the Turlock varsity girls’ tennis team are winners and are ready and hungry to begin their chase for a 10th straight Central California Conference title in the upcoming season.
“Obviously we like winning, but for myself it’s about having a team that will help each other, respects and gets along and supports one another,” said Turlock head coach Linda Bejaran.
The team is returning five of their top singles players from a season ago when the squad went 10-0 in the CCC.
“We definitely have experience,” said Bejaran.
The seniors who are returning for the Bulldogs are Rebekka Cripe and Michelle Gomez and three sophomores who should also be in the mix for the singles and doubles teams.
“The girls have no animosity. They work well together, they compete and they take it very , but they want to win so bad and want that spot so badly,” said Bejaran.
The sophomores consist of Maya Young, Izzy Romeo and Sophie Winfree . Also look for junior Mehr Sahota to be in the mix.
“I think our upperclassmen — juniors and seniors — are very good role models and taking the underclassmen under their wings,” said Bejaran. “They are teaching them the rules and how the coaches are and everything... it's really helpful.”
The Bulldogs are also looking like a team that will have depth on the roster. The No. 6 single spot might be up for grabs with multiple possibilities at the spot.
“I have five returning singles players in the top six and then I have three which can easily challenge and be in No. 6 and play doubles. Seems like we are very deep,” said Bejaran.
The CCC might be theirs to lose this upcoming season, since their top competitors last season in Pitman, who finished second in league at 8-2, might be going through a roller-coaster season with a new coach and a herd of new players.
Although another league title is within reach, Bejaran strongly expressed what their true goal is, however, does admit winning is never a bad thing.
“Winning is good, but it’s not the end all,” said Bejaran. “I want players who love to play and want to continue to play when they leave here and are very proud of being part of Turlock and being a good sportsman.
“I’d rather see that more than winning,” Bejaran added. “I won’t say winning is not our goal but it’s not our ultimate goal. Do I think we can win again? I do, but I don’t go to bed every night wishing to get that tenth one.”
The Bulldogs league opener will be against El Capitan at 3 p.m. Sept. 1.