It was nothing to fret about.
The Pitman High volleyball team found itself in an unexpected hole, staring at a 7-point deficit in the third game of the crosstown rivalry home match with Turlock High on Monday night. But coach Kristen Pontes called a timeout, which, evidently, fixed whatever problem her Pride had at the moment.
After that, the third set was theirs. For the second time this season and fourth time in a row, the Pride swept the Bulldogs in three games — this time in a quick, convincing 25-13, 25-11, 25-16 fashion in Central California Conference play.
“Although we were expected to win,” Pitman’s Sierrah Miller said, “my team and I kept in mind that we needed to play to the best of our abilities throughout the whole match.”
That approach was tested in the third set, when Turlock was ahead 9-2. Pitman didn’t back down, panic or falter, even against a Bulldogs team (2-8 CCC) that was hungry for another win.
“Every match and every win is important when we are competing for the league championship,” said Pontes, whose 9-1 Pride own a one-match lead over defending CCC title holder Golden Valley High (8-2). “It is always much harder for a team to be on top, but my girls are driven and motivated. They want it, so we have been focusing on each and every team, while also keeping the picture of winning the CCC in the back of our minds.”
In the same breath, Pitman’s lower level programs — freshmen and junior varsity squads — are also chasing for their own league title, as those Pride are in first place going into the third round of the regular season schedule.
At the varsity level, Pitman middle blockers Vicki Rouse (10 kills, six blocks) and Melinda Gonzalez had big matches. Pontes said her team’s serving led the entire match, while Kelsee Derr, Ashley Solis (four aces) and Julia Brewer (13 assists) contributed in more than one way.
“Every player on the team played and contributed to the win, which is all I can ask for as a coach,” said Pontes, whose Pride have a shot to increase their first-place lead furthermore in today’s match at Golden Valley, which is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“This match will not only prove how strong we are as a team,” Miller added about the Golden Valley match, “but it will help achieve our team goal we made at the beginning of the season, to win CCC for the first time in Pitman history. This game is important for every girl on our team.”
Pitman’s Vanessa Serrato also collected four digs against the Bulldogs.
For Turlock, Sami Alaniz and Rebecka Miranda had six and three kills, respectively, and Miranda and Alyssa Downs combined for 11 digs. The Bulldogs will host Buhach Colony High today at 6 p.m.
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