By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lady Bruins Outwork Hughson On TVL Court
When the 2009 prep volleyball season ended, it brought with it the final year of varsity play for 12 of the 15 Riverbank High students who called the Bruin court their own.

The team, comprised of seniors like Jordan Blevins, Jessica McDonald and Estefania Zamora, saw one of their closest games in a winless season come in a 3-2 loss to Hughson on Oct. 15 of last year.

Nearly 12 months later, and with just two returning starters on the Bruin roster, Riverbank saw big plays lead to a 3-0 shellacking of visiting Hughson on Oct. 11.

A loss to Modesto Christian on Wednesday left the team with a 2-5 showing in the ultra-competitive Trans-Valley League.

The TVL, which was responsible for 11 Sac-Joaquin Section postseason wins, an SJS title (Division V) and a runner-up finish (Division IV) last year, is also the stomping grounds of the No. 1 and 2 teams on the current 35-team Division IV power ratings.

Ripon (7-0) and Escalon (5-1) hold the top two positions as of Oct. 18, and would take first and second seeds into the postseason, were the season to end today, The TVL sports four teams on the cusp of playoff advancement, as Modesto Christian is 10th and Hilmar 17th (top 16 move on).

Riverbank isn't far behind in a 22nd place tie with a team they beat in league play, Orestimba. The improvement in seed was a direct result of the three-game rout of Hughson by 25-22, 25-16, 25-14 scores.

Megan Larson sent home six kills and dished out six assists in the win, while Ashley Tristao managed eight aces and six assists. Libero Karly Martinez brought up 16 digs while Katelyn Mitchell and Kendra Garcia blocked big shots at the net.

"We pressed their defense with some great hitting, and tested their serve-receive with our jump serves," Hughson coach Lisa Mila said. "Amy McDonald had some incredible jump serves and freshman middle Kendra Garcia had a few stuff blocks that really hindered Hughson's hitting confidence."

Larson and Mitchell, the two returning starters from 2009, lead the Lady Bruin athletes with big cumulative numbers this season. Larson has 25 aces, 32 kills, 41 digs and 14 blocks, while Mitchell has delivered 28 aces, 42 kills, 49 digs and 21 blocks.

Newcomer, McDonald, has 20 aces, 24 kills, 57 digs and eight blocks, while Martinez sports 8 digs and Garcia has sent home 19 kills and 10 blocks.

Riverbank fell in 14-25, 24-26, 12-25 scores to a talented Modesto Christian program on Oct. 13. The team was at Escalon on Monday and hosts Orestimba, today, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m.