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Pride volleyball champs return for another title run

Pride volleyball champs return for another title run

Pitman’s Cami Larsen serves the ball as Hilmar’s Savannah Gemperle attempts the block during Pitman’s Monday afternoon victory.

POSTED August 28, 2012 6:23 p.m.

Pitman High made history last season, earning its first Central California Conference volleyball championship since the school’s induction. After sending several players from last season’s team to collegiate programs the Pride are back with another talented cast on the court and they’re thinking repeat.

“Our team’s chances of repeating as CCC champs are strong,” Pitman’s head coach Kristen Pontes said. “Every year I have very high expectations for the teams at Pitman, and we have a great group of talented and passionate volleyball players this season.”

Among those players are seniors Sierrah Miller, Cami Larsen, and Kelsee Derr, this season’s solo captain. They are accompanied by returning junior Melinda Gonzalez and sophomore Lindsey Vander Weide as well as new comer Maddy Halteman. Halteman is just one of the young, new faces for Pitman’s varsity squad that helped lead last season’s JV team to a solid season finish.

“We have a team full of players that work very hard at practice and don’t complain,” Pontes said. “They want to learn and they love the game of volleyball.”

Pitman’s passion has already shone through during pre-season play as the Pride has dominated opponents with their well rounded attack and strong defense. If shutout performances against the likes of Turlock Christian and Hilmar High are any indicators of how Pitman will fare in CCC play, it’s safe to say Pontes and her girls are in good position for a second league title.

“We want to work well together as a team and stay positive with high energy from the beginning to the end,” Pontes said. “We want to be successful, at the top of the CCC, and make it to playoffs again.”

Pitman hosts Escalon High on Thursday and Gregori High on Sept. 4. Pitman’s CCC schedule begins Sept. 11 against Merced High in Merced.

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