The 2023 volleyball season was dominated by the Pride and the Bulldogs, as they each punched tickets to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs after finishing 1-2 in the Central California Athletic League standings. It seems only right that players from both teams flooded this year’s All-League honors.
Headlining the list are the Pride’s Maryn Hall and the Bulldogs’ Lauren Parker, who were named Co-Most Valuable Players. Meanwhile, Pitman’s Madison Eissayou earned Offensive Player of the Year honors while teammate Payton Rowell earned Setter of the Year. Turlock’s Lillie Miranda was named Defensive Player of the Year. Joining all the players was the Pitman staff of head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian and her assistant, Ari Amini, who were named Coaches of the Year.
Under Pontes-Christian and Amini, the Pride had a 34-7 overall record and went 10-0 in CCAL, earning the top spot over the Bulldogs, who were 22-13 overall and 8-1 in league play. 2023 also marked the final season of Pontes-Christian’s illustrious coaching career. In her 16 years at the helm, she led the Pride to 10 league championships, three Sac-Joaquin Section titles and 375 victories. Amini will take over for Pontes-Christian full-time next year.
Parker and Hall were the top offensive players throughout league play this season. Parker led the CCAL with 362 kills while Hall had 333. Eissayou had similar success with 263 kills while also leading the Pride with a .439 hitting percentage and 73 blocks. As for Rowell, she racked up 81 aces and an astounding 1,221 assists on the season. Defensively, Miranda led the Bulldogs with 453 digs and 415 receptions.
Turlock’s Nikkie Miranda and Pitman’s Aila Reich and Ella Sniezek, meanwhile, were named to the CCAL All-League First Team. The Second Team included Pitman’s Mindy Wu and Avery Ahlem as well as Turlock’s Mimi Spalding and Mariana Avila. And landing on the Honorable Mention list was Turlock’s Meg Crowell and Pitman’s Mia Ngo.