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All Star Cast - Returning Players Have Bruin Volleyball On The Rise
Larson and Mitchell.

They sound like a law firm or a cheesy television series from the 1980s, but the Riverbank High duo of Megan Larson and Katelyn Mitchell has steadily become a staple of Lady Bruin volleyball.

This year, the two four-year varsity standouts lead a big cast of returning players with high hopes for success in the always-tough Trans-Valley League.

"I think our strength this year will be our depth," eight-year Riverbank coach Lisa Mila said. "We have so many girls bringing so much versatility to the team. We have some big hitters I hope to really utilize and be an aggressive attacking and serving team."

The Bruins were 5-13 overall a season ago and went 3-9 in the TVL after a win over Orestimba and two victories over Hughson. The league was dominated by Ripon, which won the TVL title with a perfect 12-0 stanza of games and also pulled down a Section crown.

Escalon, Hilmar and Modesto Christian also qualified for the postseason on the momentum of TVL wins and the conference's high power rating, leaving playoff hopes open for several programs in 2011.

"I hope other schools have to prepare for us, not discard us," coach Mila said. "I hope to improve our winning record from last year, and give our league some competition."

The league should know to expect competition from Bruin setter and returning All TVL selection, Larson, who is the current student body president at RHS. Larson will feed the ball to middle blockers Mitchell and Kendra Garcia (sophomore) as well as junior outside hitter Amy McDonald. Waterford transfer Rhapsody Cattedra is also expected to make an impact after sitting out her junior season in 2010.

Riverbank lost key digger Karly Martinez to graduation, but should develop a solid backcourt with seniors Briel Cupp, Amanda Lopez and sophomore Allie Heredia.

"Right now our weakness is our passing," Mila said. "We have many defensive players, but most are new to the game.

"Once we develop them and they feel comfortable, we will be very strong digging and serve receiving - which will make us a well rounded team."

Riverbank played Enochs at home on Monday, but results were not available at press time.