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Bruins Solid In Qualifying For Tennis Postseason
Riverbank High's coed tennis team had the entirety of their spring break to ponder the importance of their next two conference matches as the Bruins, Modesto Christian and Ripon entered the final two weeks of the Trans-Valley League season vying for the last two of playoff seeds behind unbeaten Escalon.

Riverbank responded to the pondering by sealing postseason advancement with 5-4 wins over MC and Ripon in consecutive matches on April 17 and 20.

Barring an upset to lowly Orestimba on April 24 (results were not available at press time) Riverbank will enter the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs with a No. 2 seed from the TVL as one of 21 qualifying teams from seven different leagues on April 30.

"I would say of the three in contention for second, Riverbank is the most well-rounded at this time because in most of the matches we lost the score was close while in the matches we won the scores were lopsided in Riverbank's favor," Riverbank coach Bruce Edwards said. "The team can feel they earned second place."

Riverbank's boys and mixed doubles team won all of their matches to outlast MC on April 17, and the Bruins needed late success from across the lineup to beat Ripon three days later. The Indians appeared to take steps towards their own postseason advancement when the host team landed tiebreaker wins to claim a 3-0 lead. Riverbank fought back when Armando Rodriguez took Ripon's Freddie Matthews to a 3-6, 8-6 (10-5) victory from the No. 1 boys singles position.

Eric Hernandez followed with 6-3, 6-2 wins over Steven Hollis and saw Mago Manriquez and Dominique Jennings fight to a 6-2, 6-4 doubles win. The mixed doubles tandem of Calena Hernandez and Rigo Calderon won 6-2, 6-4 to give Riverbank's No. 2 singles girl, Linda Erazo, a chance to unwittingly win the match with a 7-5, 6-2 win against a girl she had previously lost to.

"Linda won a tie breaker for the first set and then remained very calm to take a quick lead in the second," Edwards said. "On the final point she aced her opponent with a wide serve to the forehand side. Linda had no idea that the entire match was dependent on the outcome of her match.

"In fact her match determined essentially which team would get second in league."

Riverbank takes on the conference in the TVL tournament on April 27 and 28 at the Sportsmen of Stanislaus Club in Modesto.