TURLOCK -- Spencer Heller didn't need to search for a motivational tool for her senior year.
"I want to win the Central California Conference again, so I've got one for every year," the Turlock High senior said. "We don't have big stars, so we try to get everyone shooting in the 40s."
The approach is working again this season, as the Bulldogs beat Pitman 234-285 Tuesday at Stevinson Ranch to remain atop the CCC with a 8-0 record.
Turlock won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South crown a year ago, but the graduation of No. 1 Emily Szabo pushed Heller into the top spot this season.
She spent the summer preparing for the role, playing tournaments across Northern California. She played familiar foes, including all-Stanislaus District pick Kirsten Locke of Bret Harte and freshman sensation Shawnee Martinez of Enochs, in individual battles over 18 holes.
Heller's summer spotlight was a fourth-place finish at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, shooting 73 and 75 on the par-72 Arcade Course. She was pretty sharp Tuesday, too, shooting a par 36 at Diablo Grande.
"I was hitting the ball solid and my putter was working," Heller said. "Putting is 99 percent mental, and I've gained confidence as I stand over the ball. I tell myself I'm going to make every putt."
Heller says her college destination is uncertain -- she's considering Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, where she would likely major in kinesiology -- but she's definitely off to school somewhere.
"I've got a 3.9 GPA throughout high school and a tough schedule this year with two (Advance Placement) classes," Heller said. "I'd like to stay in California for college. Why would you leave?"
GOLDEN VALLEY 258, LOS BANOS 317, at Forebay -- Cougars senior Belen Hernandez fired an even-par 37, leading Golden Valley (8-1 CCC) to an easy victory over the Tigers (2-7 CCC).
EAST UNION 215, WESTON RANCH 338, at Van Buskirk, Stockton -- The unbeaten Lancers (12-0, 9-0 VOL) had a new player step up to lead the team, as junior Jackie Ketner fired a 4-over-par 40 for medalist honors.
CENTRAL CATHOLIC 188, ORESTIMBA 277, at Diablo Grande -- Jessica Ferlmann and Giovanna Pecchenino each shot 44s to lead the undefeated Raiders (9-0) past the Warriors (1-6). The team score of 188 was Central's best of the season.
ESCALON 142, RIPON 196, at Escalon -- Hailey Homen shot her second consecutive 1-over-par 32 at Escalon as the Cougars (7-1 VFL) toppled the Indians (1-7 VFL). Homen had three birdies on the day.
Story continues below video
ENOCHS 3, DAVIS 0, at Enochs -- Casara Collins had 10 kills, two blocks and two aces, leading the Eagles (4-5, 3-2) to a 25-20, 25-16, 28-26 victory over the Spartans (4-5, 2-3).
MODESTO 3, JOHANSEN 0, at Johansen -- Gianna Gallo had 16 assists and five aces as the first-place Panthers (16-4, 5-0 MMC) swept the Vikings (0-9, 0-5). Kaitlyn Klein had eight kills to lead Modesto.
BEYER 3, DOWNEY 0, at Beyer -- Kellie Miller had 31 assists, four aces and 18 service points, leading the Patriots (4-1 MMC) to a 25-22, 25-12, 25-17 win over the Knights (1-4 MMC). Beyer plays first-place Modesto next Tuesday.
TURLOCK 3, MERCED 1, at Turlock -- Kayla Avila and Madison Griggs each pounded nine kills and Tatiana Fregosi dealt out 14 assists as the Bulldogs (5-4, 1-2 CCC) handed the Bears (6-12, 1-3 CCC) a 25-23, 25-27, 25-13, 25-21 defeat.
DOWNEY 4, ENOCHS 3, at Downey -- Courtney Nelson and Emily Blair were among the first players on the court, and they were the last to leave. Nelson came back in the second set to beat Blair 6-4, 7-5 at No. 2 singles to help the Knights (3-4 MMC) edge the Eagles (3-4).
"They were going back and forth, back and forth," Downey coach Dave Bennett said of the match that lasted more than two hours. "It was a long, good match."
DAVIS 7, JOHANSEN 0, at Davis -- Jordan Schmidt, who picked up a racquet for the time in January, won her first match to help the Spartans (3-4 MMC) top the Vikings (0-7). Schmidt, Davis' No. 4 singles player, beat Victoria Flores 6-4, 6-1.
"She decided to take up tennis her senior year," coach Catherine Hills said. "She never took a lesson, she just decided to play. I think it's pretty neat, seeing Jordan playing so well considering that she just took up the sport."
CERES 13, CENTRAL VALLEY 2, at Ceres -- Valley Oak League defending singles champion McKenzy Harden improved to 21-0 as the Bulldogs (6-2, 5-2 VOL) finished the first half of league play with a victory over the Hawks. Harden, a junior, was 32-0 in the VOL last season. No. 2 singles player Venus Lopez also swept three sets and improved to 17-4.
Boys Water Polo
BEYER 13, ENOCHS 12, at Beyer -- Kevin Heron scored the game-winning goal with about two minutes left as the Patriots held off the Eagles. Tyler Pugh led Beyer with five goals while Darius Ford scored five goals for Enochs.