The Turlock girls’ tennis team has won the Central California Conference for the ninth consecutive season after defeating Pitman High on Thursday afternoon in the season finale.
Pitman had an opportunity to dethrone the Turlock Bulldogs if they could pull off a victory, which would have resulted in a 9-1 tie for first, but instead the lady ‘Dogs came out with a purpose.
Turlock went up with a score of 4-1 after five matches but it wasn’t until Courtnie Chan pulled off the 7-6, 7-5 win over Abi Wilson that a sigh of relief came into play and after that it seemed like the ‘Dogs had it in the books.
Eventually Turlock pulled away with an 8-1 win, essentially clinching the CCC and a perfect 10-0 year.
“We knew Pitman would challenge us. And challenge us they did,” said Turlock head coach Linda Bejaran. “But it feels like we should be going to Disneyland haha… but relieved, excited and tired after this. Not going to lie, I will admit I was a bit nervous until Courtnie won.”
“I am so proud of our girls they are fantastic and we did the best we could against a very tough Turlock team,” said Pitman head coach Doug Reimers.
This year also marks the best finish in coach Reimers four-year tenure, accumulating an 8-2 CCC record, securing a second place position in league.
“As far as winning, coming in a lot of the girls have taken on tennis much more seriously since I took over,” said Reimers. “So they have definitely improved over that span and it’s my best season because of their tough work.”
Turlock has now finished the year with a clean sheet over the CCC and most competitive squad in the area.
“We went into the match with a confident attitude but after we won the number one singles match then everyone relaxed a bit and raised their level of their games,” said Bejaran.
One of the biggest stories of the match was Pitman’s undefeated number one doubles team heading into the match.
The Pride team of Ashley Byers and Gabrielle Soria had been unbeatable all season long for coach Reimers but after falling ill the last week, Soria returned—not in full strength—and it ultimately showed on the court.
Turlock’s number one doubles team of Nina Sherwood and Natasha Younan took full advantage as they played up to their standards. That was the Pitman team’s first loss but also marks a 9-1 record for both number one doubles teams.
“Both teams have only lost to each other,” said Bejaran of her number one doubles team. “Pitman beat us the first time, we beat them this time. All of our hard work is because of the teamwork, dedication and fighting spirit we give all year long.”
“Both are fantastic players all year and you want to talk about why we went 8-2 it is because these two were so consistent for us all year long,” said Reimers of Soria and Byers. “They really took care of business out on the court. They were a very dependable group.”
Now that the regular season is over, next for Turlock and Pitman will be the CCC singles tournament at Golden Valley High at a time yet to be announced on Tuesday.