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Pitman volleyball rolls through first round
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Pitmans Yisel Perez goes for the kill against the Lions on Monday in the Prides first-round playoff win at home. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Pitman High took its first post-season step Monday night when its girls hosted McClatchy High of Sacramento in the first round of the CIF Division I Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Volleyball Tournament. The top seeded Pride dispatched the Lions with relative ease, 3-0 (25-13, 25-5 and 25-6), as they outsized and overpowered their opponent on the court.

“A little slow start, but it’s all about the finish. They stayed intense from beginning to end no matter what happened on the other side, so that’s all I can ask for,” Pitman High head coach Kristen Pontes said. “I think it was a good first playoff match. Now we’ll work hard in practice the next couple of days and get ready for the next one.”

Pitman’s trio of senior captains — Ashleigh Phelps, Maddy Halteman and Lindsey Vander Weide — asserted their dominance through two and a half sets as they finished with seven aces, seven digs and 25 assists, and 18 kills and two blocks, respectively. Freshman Whitney Barnes also had a productive night with six kills and one block, while junior Lauren Solis recorded eight aces and six digs.

Pitman is now two wins away from a section final appearance at UC Davis with its next contest being played at home on Thursday.

“As I told them, we have a big target on our back. It’s a blessing because we get the three home games, but again, every team’s going to want to beat us. They want to knock us out; they want to have that upset,” Pontes said. “I think it’s more motivation for us, knowing that every team is going to work hard. It’s single elimination at this point. One off night and we can be out, so I think that they know that we have to come prepared, ready mentally and physically, and be prepared to play our game and control the game from beginning to end.”

The Pride will face the winner of Tuesday's St. Mary’s v. Enochs High game at 6 p.m. Thursday.