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Netters Rack Up Trio Of Early Victories
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First taking up their rackets on Feb. 17, the Riverbank High School tennis team has defeated Bret Harte by 4-3, beat Modesto Christian, 4-3 on Feb. 22, and outplayed Waterford, 5-2. But they had to forfeit for lack of mixed doubles on Feb. 24, and then lost a scrimmage, 6-0, against a Ceres all-boys team on Friday.

"We are very young and very green. We lost every match against Ceres," said Bruin coach Bruce Edwards. "Amber Nickels who plays first girls singles, and David Unruh and Antonio Vigil, who alternate as first boys singles, are all juniors. Nickels is the only varsity returnee. We haven't a single senior. But we will learn."

As to Trans Valley League prospects, Ripon Christian and Livingston are likely to take the lead, followed by Escalon and Hughson, he added.

Against Bret Harte, Nickels lost at 6-2 and 6-3; Leslie Thiessen lost, 6-2, 6-2; and Vigil lost, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3. The wins were by Unruh, 6-2, 6-2; boys doubles players Hector Lozano and Julian Hernandez, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; girls doubles players Gaby Zamora and Alyson McHugh 0-6, 6-4, 6-4; and mixed doubles players Vigil and Nickels, 10-7.

"They had the better players individually. But we played together," said Edwards.

Against Modesto Christian, Vigil lost 6-4, 6-4; Unruh won 6-0, 6-0; Nickels won 6-2, 6-4; and Thiessen lost 6-3, 6-2.

"Nickels had a doozy of a match but prevailed with her slice and her volley which her opponent could not handle," said Edwards.

In doubles, Hernandez and a freshman Kevin Keo won, 6-2, 6-2, Zamora and McHugh won 8-6, 6-4 and Riverbank had to forfeit the mixed doubles for lack of players.

Playing first boys singles, Unruh won 6-4, 6-2, Keo won 6-0, 6-3; Nickels won, 7-5, 6-2; and Thiessen lost, 6-4, 7-5. In doubles, Hernandez and Vigil won. 6-1, 6-0; and Zamora and McHugh won. 6-0, 6-4. The Bruins again had to forfeit the mixed doubles match.

Waterford is strong in the doubles department," Edwards commented.

But he made no apology for the Ceres match, which was a scrimmage and not scored. Ceres is in the Central California Conference and plays an all girls team in the fall and an all boys squad in the spring.

"We'd rather play hard and lose than win too easily," Edwards said. .

This week, the Bruins played Delhi away on Tuesday, Modesto Christian at home on Thursday, and Argonaut at home again on Friday. The Argonaut game is one that was postponed from Feb. 28.