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Five teams and one golfer still in playoff action for Garces this week

A big week ahead for Garces athletics begins Tuesday afternoon in Fresno as five fall sports teams are still in action in the Central Section postseason. 


Girls tennis

The girls tennis team, seeded second in the Central Section Division I playoffs, is on the road at No. 1 Clovis North at 3 p.m.

The Rams, led by two-time Central Section doubles champions Alexis Drulias and Jackie Sala, are riding a 14-match win streak heading into the finals.

The Rams (20-3) haven’t lost since a 5-1 decision to Clovis North on Sept. 7 in tournament play. Garces was without Sierra Kent, the No. 4 singles player because of transfer sit-out rules. Since, Garces has won every match before doubles play has begun, including an 8-1 win over Clovis-Buchanan in the semifinals.

Water polo

Garces boys and girls water polo both won during the Saturday afternoon quarterfinals double-header.

Garces girls, the top-seed in D-II, beat Exeter 10-1 behind a near shutout performance from Ellie Waguespack and four goals from Abby Schechter and Isabella Garcia.

The Rams will host No. 4 Paso Robles on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the Salvucci Aquatics Center. 

And with aquatics director Jason Gall need to drive up the 99 to make it to the boys semifinals.

After Garces downed No. 6 Clovis, 14-11, the third-seeded Rams will play at No. 2 Clovis West at 6:30 p.m.

Winners of the semifinals will play on Saturday with times and locations to be determined.

Cross Country

All levels of cross country will be in competition on Thursday in the Southwest Yosemite League Championships at Hart Park.

First up for Garces is the JV girls at 9 a.m., followed by JV boys (9:30), varsity girls (10:30) and varsity boys (11:30).

Currently, according to times recorded by Athletic.net, sophomore Fletcher Bank has the 17th fastest time in SWYL at 17 minutes, 8 seconds. 

Senior Natalina Antongiovanni leads the Rams with a time of 22:04 in 5,000-meter action. 

Football

Garces, fueled by five interceptions and six sacks, beat Frontier on the road 37-7 in the opening round of the D-II playoffs.

Dom D’Amato led the way with two interceptions last week as the Rams (5-6) outscored Frontier 28-7 in the second half.

Jalen Smith rushed for 109 yards and two carries and led the defensive front that kept the Titans out of the red zone all night except for a botched punt return that Frontier recovered at the 2-yard line, setting up the lone touchdown.

Garces will play at No. 1 Hanford on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Bullpups (10-0) were on a bye in the opening round after securing the top seed with an undefeated regular season.

Hanford, ranked No. 9 overall in the section by CalPreps.com, has played just three teams also ranked in the top 25 while Garces has played six top-ranked teams this season.

Even further, Garces has played just two teams ranked below the top-50 in the section while Hanford has played four.

Garces’ strength of schedule could play dividends for the Rams come Friday at 17.6, compared to 4.6 for Hanford.

The winner will play either No. 5 Tulare Western or No. 13 Dinuba after upsetting No. 4 Sanger 28-14.

If the 9th-seeded Rams and Dinuba win, that would set up a home game for Garces in the semifinals. 

Girls Golf

Junior Julianna Escobedo is competing Thursday at the CIF Southern California Regional Girls Golf Championships at noon in Pasadena at Brookside Golf Course.

Escobedo advanced after shooting an 81 at the Central Section championships last week in Porterville.

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