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Riverbank Netters See Growth At Golden Valley Tournament
The Riverbank Lady Bruins volleyball team took full advantage of their final action prior to the opening of the Trans-Valley League schedule, winning a pair of contests in their final day of action in the Golden Valley Tournament in Stockton over the weekend.

The squad made the long drive to Cesar Chavez High in Stockton to compete against several schools fine-tuning their games for league openers.

Riverbank got off to a rough start, dropping their first tournament duals, yet got things going in the right direction with a strong showing in the Steel Bracket, earning a trip to the bracket championship.

"We played very well this weekend," Riverbank head coach Lisa Mila said. "Especially coming after a very long week. We were mentally and physically exhausted, yet we continued to fight."

The Lady Bruins rolled past Hughson and Downey, snatching a spot in the championship game, yet their magic ran out as they were outlasted by Valley Oak League team Ceres 19-25 and 22-25.

"I am so proud of the way my girls played," Mila said. "We were able to realize some of our strengths and now we know what weaknesses we need to improve on."

The Bruins were still able to come away with something even in their early tournament defeats, playing against TVL foes that the squad will see soon with more than a non-league tournament title on the line.

Riverbank kicks off a grueling TVL schedule with trips to league powerhouses Escalon and Ripon, making the first few matches of TVL play all the more important.

The squad will learn a lot about themselves early on in the TVL grind, giving the team something to aim for as they open arguably the toughest road trip of the entire season.

"We took advantage of this tournament and were able to gel together," Mila said. "We were also able to get a look at some teams in our league.

"I feel we are going to have a lot of fun this season."

Riverbank opens action with a trip to Salida to take on the Modesto Christian Crusaders, followed by a Sept. 22 showdown with Escalon High in Escalon.