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Weather Relents, Spring Sports Underway At RHS
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Riverbank’s James Williams returns a volley during Trans-Valley League varsity tennis competition on Friday, March 17. Williams, along with Noe Gutierrez, teamed up as number two seed boys doubles against visiting Escalon. The duo finished on top, 6-0 and 6-2. Ric McGinnis/The News

With better weather last week, spring sports athletes at Riverbank High School were able to take to their fields and courts to actually begin play. Some teams saw Trans-Valley League contests while others were wrapping up preseason matches.


Bruin Co-Ed Tennis

RHS Coach Bruce Edwards said that his co-ed team did really well in Trans-Valley play on Friday, March 17. And it wasn’t the Luck of the Irish that got the job done on St. Patrick’s Day, but perseverance and good play.

Among the wins against Escalon, Edwards pointed out that two freshman girls, Cinthya Pantoja and Nathalie Garcia, defeated Escalon’s veteran girls doubles pair by quite a bit, by scores of 6-3 and 6-1.

The Bruin boys number one pair, Arthus Schnebelen, who is experienced but still learning, he said, and Roberto D’Agnano, with just three weeks of learning tennis, also handled their Escalon opponents, 6-4 and 6-4. Schnebelen is a senior foreign exchange student from France, while D’Agnano is senior exchange student from Spain. Edwards noted that they “defeated a tough doubles team that dominated us in our tournament” on March 3.

“Senior Frank Manzo in boys singles number one seed took control of the match early and never was behind,” Edwards said of the 6-2, 6-2 decision.

Mixed Doubles had two freshmen playing together, Victor Jacobo and Zaira Villegas, and after losing the first set, worked together and made some adjustments to win in three sets, 2-6, 6-3 and 10-8. That third set was a 10-point tie-breaker.

Edwards also reported that senior second year player Jimena Cuellar was taken down by the number one girl in league, Escalon’s Isabella Nalbandian, but not without a fight. And Matthew Hardin, a junior, went down in his first ever singles match in three sets. In girls doubles, he said, “number two seed pair, sophomore Morelia Galvan and freshman Maya Williams, had much better control than their opponents and won easily,” 6-1 and 6-1.

Edwards also said that the Bruin team got to make up a previously rained out TVL match, in Hughson last week. Unfortunately, they fell 6-3 in the make-up match.

“It was our first TVL match and for most their first ever competition match. We had six freshmen playing who just started tennis this year competing at any level, three foreign exchange students, and only three returning varsity players. Eight of our top 16 players are freshmen and four are sophomores. To say the least, I am quite pleased with how we are developing considering the rainy season we are having,” Edwards concluded.

Weather permitting, the team was scheduled to host Ripon High School on Tuesday, Millennium from Tracy on Wednesday, then travel to Livingston on Friday.


Lady Bruin Softball

Riverbank girls were able to get in two home games last week, against Johansen High School from Modesto, on Tuesday, March 14, and against the Lady Warriors from Orestimba High in Newman, on March 16.

The home team defeated the Lady Vikings, 15-2, but fell 9-0 to the Lady Warriors. Some of the Lady Bruins were able to get on base, but no runners got past third, in that last game.

About the fifth inning, the Vargas sisters, juniors this year, who happen to be twins, accounted for all three of the Orestimba outs. Catcher Denise Vargas caught two pop fouls behind home plate for outs, while Desirae, who plays second base, caught an infield fly for an out in between.

Counting pre-season tournament play, Riverbank’s record stood at 2-1-2 at the end of last week.

Softball was to continue at Kimball High School in Tracy on Tuesday if the weather cooperated, and the first TVL game is scheduled for Wednesday, at home, against Hilmar’s Lady Yellowjackets.


Bruin Baseball

Varsity hardball got in a game at Livingston on Thursday, March 16, falling 18-2 to the Wolves, in TVL action. Again, weather permitting, Riverbank was scheduled to travel to Hughson on Tuesday, then host the Huskies on Thursday.


Co-Ed Track & Field

Riverbank is scheduled for a dual meet Wednesday at home, hosting both Livingston and Modesto Christian.


Bruin Golf

The golf boys are scheduled to take on Hilmar at the Turlock Golf and Country Club Wednesday afternoon.


Bruin Volleyball

Riverbank boys lost 3-0 to the visiting Knights of Stone Ridge Christian High School on Tuesday, March 14 in a non-league match. The scores were 25-18, 27-25 and 25-10. They also lost a tournament game, against Washington Union from Fresno, on Saturday, in Stockton.

They were scheduled to play in Waterford on Tuesday, and host Denair in Thursday evening action.

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Bruin freshman Felix Pasillas digs out a serve in the second game of varsity volleyball play on Tuesday, March 14, at home. Riverbank ended up losing in three sets, 25-18, 27-25 and 25-10, to the Stone Ridge Christian High School Knights, from Merced. Ric McGinnis/The News
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Lady Bruin Maya Guzman takes a healthy swing during her turn at the plate in varsity softball action on the Riverbank field, on Thursday, March 16. Visiting team Orestimba ended up taking home the 9-0 victory. Ric McGinnis/The News