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Fall Sports Wrap - Volleyball Girls Win Johansen Tournament - Football Slips To Waterford
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When Riverbank High volleyballers and coaches predicted a strong season from their 2012 varsity unit, they said nothing about starting hot enough to cook eggs.

The Lady Bruins exploded onto the Johansen Tournament with five terrific victories to stun three Division I teams and blast host Johansen in the event finale for championship honors.

Riverbank's football team took three possessions to Waterford's 5-yard line and two to the 1-yard line, but seven costly turnovers forced the Bruins to slip 33-0 to an expected Southern League power.


The stunning tournament dominance from Riverbank's Division IV girls began with a narrow win over Downey, and was followed by a one-sided rout of a Davis team that won 11 matches in 2011. The girls edged Ceres and Denair in close matches to continue action and shellacked Johansen to seal the championship.

"I don't think we have ever started a season 5-0," coach Lisa Mila said on Monday. "As soon as I saw the lineup of the tournament I thought it would be a learning experience to play all these bigger schools, and didn't expect to win at all."

Riverbank's preseason continued with host Delhi on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. The Lady Bruins host returning undefeated Mountain Valley League champions, Tioga, today, Aug. 29 and Linden on Thursday.

The looming presence of Tioga has done little to waiver the collective confidence of a program that carried early momentum to a title in their first action of the year.

"When we won our first match the girls got so excited that they took off and won every other match," Mila said. "I think we have the potential to go undefeated in the preseason. I've never said that before."

Mila credited the tourney victory to communication on the court. She said work on serve placement led to 51 total aces throughout the day, with just 11 service errors.

Despite returning just three girls, Riverbank's junior varsity team rallied to a third place finish in the Johansen JV Tournament. Mila said Jenifer Verdin may have surprised herself with success at the net, making an impact with her blocking and hitting.


The 14 returning seniors at Waterford High may never forget the 20-19 overtime defeat they suffered at the hands of Riverbank last year, but revenge in 2012 will certainly help heal the wounds.

Waterford rumbled to 335 yards of offense, held Riverbank to 188 and capitalized on the seven Bruin turnovers to seal the 33-0 win.

Riverbank quarterback Angel Torres was robbed for two interceptions, but completed 12 of 20 passes for 126 yards. Riverbank struggled on the ground, nabbing just 62 yards on 23 total carries (Torres ran for a team high 35 yards). The action couldn't compete with the likes of Waterford's Dylan Gonzales, who is touted as one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top runners. Gonzales rolled to 121 yards on 20 carries with three total touchdowns.

"It was a tough one and a good test," Riverbank coach James Oliver said. "Those seniors were pretty motivated and I could see them doing very well in the Southern League, making a good playoff run."

Waterford is the consensus No. 2 team in the SL to 2012 state bowl qualifier, Le Grand. The Wildcats were 4-3 in the conference a year ago with just 27 players on the roster. They sport 41 players this year.

"I thought we did a good job defensively inside the tackles and I thought we threw the ball pretty well for the most part," Oliver said. "We have got to get our running game going and make some adjustments this week."

On Friday, the Bruins host a Denair team they punished 43-7 in 2011. Denair graduated 10 seniors from the 22-man roster that went 2-5 a season ago in the SL.

"Denair has a new coach and I know they like to throw the ball," Oliver said. "I think we will have a little more success running the ball this week."