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Coach Proud Of Team In Tight Tennis Match
Tennis Garcia
Lady Bruin Selena Garcia, the girls first seed on the RHS tennis team, lines up a return shot in early singles play against Hughson. The team finished the match, 8-1, and ranks number two in TVL standings going into spring break this week. Ric McGinnis/The News

Riverbank’s tennis team took to the courts three times this past week, winning two out of three contests. Coach Bruce Edwards said the team got in a postponed game and two regularly scheduled matches, and he figures his team played 38 percent of its league games last week.

They played a make-up at Mountain House, losing by a 6-3 final on Monday, March 26, then hosted an 8-1 victory over Hughson last Tuesday, March 27. On Thursday, March 29, they hosted Escalon, beating the Cougars with a similar 8-1 score.

After dodging rainouts the week before, the coach was pleased with the steady level of play during the busy week, as well as proud of the sportsmanship the Bruins showed on Tuesday.

The March 27 match saw Hughson’s Huskies coming to town, following a make-up match for the Bruins the day before at Mountain House.

Edwards said he thought the 6-3 loss to the Mustangs just 24 hours earlier probably left a bad taste in the players’ mouth, as his team seemed really focused and determined on Tuesday.

Reflecting on the first seed girls match against Hughson, he noted he was “particularly proud” of his team’s sportsmanship.

“The match had gone back and forth,” he explained, with the Hughson player being pushed to three match points in the previous game.

Lady Bruin Selena Garcia got down 5-2 in the tie breaker before she was able to bring it to 6-5 in her favor.

“Seven points wins, but it must be by two points,” Edwards pointed out.

The coach said a crowd had gathered outside the court, to root on their teammates.

“Both teams had been cheering and yelling from the sidelines after most points, but were quiet while points were played,” he said.

He estimated there were about 25 people watching the game play out.

“On the final point, the Hughson player double faulted – heartbreaking,” Edwards said. “The Riverbank team knew what that meant, but remained silent, as no one wants to lose that way.”

The coach said the silence was a way for the Bruins to show their respect for a “very good opponent.”

At the same time, Edwards said he thought they were all “bursting inside to want to cheer for Selena’s hard fought, comeback victory.”

He said her Riverbank teammates waited to express their joy until after the girls shook hands at the net.

“They erupted into cheers as one player left with a smile, the other, holding back tears,” Edwards summarized. “At the same moment, I felt joy and sadness. In tennis, every day, half win, half lose. There are no ties.”