The 2019 league season has come to a close for the Riverbank High School tennis team with impressive wins and many players finishing league play on top.
The team played in the Trans-Valley League Tournament on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27.
Coach Bruce Edwards said that Riverbank netters finished their season tied with Escalon in the TVL, but the Bruins earned the #1 seed in the tournament because each team beat the other in the season, but RHS scored higher in their defeat of the Cougars.
Edwards pointed out that several of this year’s senior players have been champions for four years in a row now. They include Jackie Pantoja, Carla Ibarra, and Daisy Ferreira. He added that both Jasmine Rubio and Zubaidulla Hamidi have been on RHS championship teams for three years.
The coach also noted that, while the Bruins squad was seeded #1 in the league tournament, it will play as the #3 seed in Division I playoffs this week.
“Last year we were in Division II and won sections,” Edwards explained. “Since our enrollment (at RHS) went up this year, we are competing against schools with enrollments much higher, up to 1500 as compared to ours, at 740, now that we’re in Division I.
“I believe we have the lowest enrollment in the Division I.”
The results from the team’s play in the TVL Tournament last Friday and Saturday were impressive, especially in light of the Bruins’ championship record.
“This tournament is where the players must compete in the positions they played most of the season against the other TVL schools (so it is different than the section qualifiers). First and second place players bring home plaques,” he said.
Results from the league tournament show high placement for the Bruin teams.
Boys #1 seed singles showed Zubaidullah Hamedi finished in first place with Erik Pantoja in second. In girls singles, Selena Garcia finished third and Alondra Ibarra ended up in fourth place.
The boys #1 doubles team of Josue Estrada and Edward Garnica finished in third place and #2 pair Damian Bolanos and Leo Manzo finished in fourth place. Girls #1 doubles team Carla Ibarra and Jasmine Rubio finished on top and the #2 doubles pair of Jackie Pantoja and Perla Gomez finished on top in their bracket, as well.
The mixed doubles pair, Daisy Ferreira and Juan Vigil, placed second in their event.
“Because we got a bye for the division first round, our first playoff team match is Wednesday, May 1 (home), against Orestimba,” Edwards said. “If we win, we will play the winner of the Sonora vs. Highlands match on Monday, May 6, in the semifinals. The winner will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section final to be held at Oak Park in Stockton, on Wednesday, May 8, at 3:30 p.m.”
Edwards also pointed out there is an individual tournament this week, set for May 2 and 3 at Oak Park. He said there are several individuals and pairs going to this tournament.
“Each league gets to send two representatives in each category,” he said. “Boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles, for a total of ten positions.”
He said Riverbank took five of those spots.
This year the Bruins qualified the following RHS athletes: Boys Singles, Zubai Hamedi, first seed, and Erik Pantoja, second seed. In Girls Doubles, Selena Garcia and Alondra Ibarra, first seed, and Carla Ibarra and Jackie Pantoja, second seed.
In Mixed Doubles, Jasmine Rubio and Juan Vigil qualified at the second seed position.