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Pitman volleyball claims fourth straight CCC title
Turlock finishes second in turn-around season
Pitmans Maddy Halteman and Kaitlyn Walters block a Bulldog hit during a crosstown and league matchup on Monday evening. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The Central California Conference volleyball season is over, brought to an end with Monday's cross-town match-up between Pitman and Turlock High. The Pride's  3-0 (25-15, 25-14 and 25-16) defeat of the Bulldogs secured their fourth consecutive CCC title as they finished undefeated in league for the third year in a row.


“I think they're feeling very proud of the season that we've had so far. They're confident,” Pitman head coach Kristen Pontes said.


For Turlock, this season's second place league finish marks its best performance since claiming the CCC title with an undefeated league record in 2006.


“Like I said all season, we were just having fun and enjoying the level of play,” Turlock head coach Amber Castillon said.“They're in great shape.”


Though Monday marked the end of the regular season for the Bulldogs, the Pride added a last-minute match against Sonora High on Tuesday in what turned out to be a five-set battle, with Pitman winning 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21 and 15-13).


“I think tonight was a true test of how much we want it and how deep we're going to dig to really be consistent and be intense about the game,” Pontes said. “I think it's great because the girls had to battle and earn every point versus getting easy points, and that's exactly what's going to happen in playoffs. It's not going to be easy,”


Both teams are expected to play their first playoff match of the CIF Division I Sac-Joaquin Section tournament next week. Brackets will be released by 4 p.m. today.


Turlock will enter the tournament having won six of its last seven matches.


Pitman will enter the tournament with an overall record of 37-1—their sole loss coming to the nation's top ranked team, Archbishop Mitty High—and a ranking of 19th in California. The Pride made it all the way to the semi-final match of last year's Division I SJS tournament before being eliminated by Granite Bay High.


“Our goal is to go to section; our goal is to get to UC Davis,” Pontes said. “This team has eight seniors, which I've never had on my team before. The leadership is there, the talent is there, the experience.”