By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
PREP ROUNDUP: Pitman volley falls to Oak Ridge in Section tourney

Pitman High’s volleyball team was eliminated from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I tournament on Tuesday, falling to Oak Ridge 25-21, 25-18, 15-25, 25-9.

The semifinal matchup marked the fourth time the teams have met in the postseason over the past decade, with Pitman winning the previous three matchups — the last two came in the 2015 and 2016 semifinals during the Pride’s three-peat championship run.

The season, however, is not over for Pitman. All section semifinalists advance to the Northern California regional tournament, which gets under way next week.

“The first set we started flat, but played well enough to keep up with them,” said PHS coach Kristen Pontes-Christian, whose team drops to 30-3. “In the second set, they had a few big runs and we just couldn’t recover. They swing and serve hard. We served great and we blocked well, but our defense and offense were off-and-on.”

Individually for the Pride, Laura Hamilton had seven kills and four blocks, Aila Reich totaled 11 kills, Maryn Hall had 13 digs, Ella Sniezek added three aces and Payton Rowell finished with 30 assists.

Pitman mounted a comeback in the third game.

“We finally picked up our offense and started swinging, along with picking up hits on defense,” said Pontes-Christian. “Maryn Hall went on a great serving run and Aila Reich did great on the outside. Stefany Perez subbed in on defense and did well.”

The Trojans bounced back in the fourth set and ended Pitman’s tournament run.

“Oak Ridge has at least four senior (college) commits,” said Pontes-Christian. “We have only two seniors who regularly play. We’re looking forward to the NorCal tournament because anything can happen.”



Season complete for Turlock, Pitman golfers

STOCKTON — Turlock High’s girls golf team finished eighth in a field of 12 at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament at The Reserve at Spanos Park on Monday.

Savannah Van Gaalen led the Bulldogs with her round of 76, followed by Sydney Streeter’s 80. Isabella Dowd carded a 91, Natalia Lightfoot shot 92 and Reece Benjamin finished her round in 96 strokes for a team total of 435. Central California Athletic League rival Enochs was 10th (478).

“Sometimes you just have to believe that you belong out there and that you are one of the hot-shots,” said Krupka. “I truly believe that Savannah and Sydney are of that caliber and Isabela has showed us that she has the ability as well.”

Individually, Van Gaalen finished tied for 25th place, while Pitman High’s Monet Sayadian, who qualified for the tourney as an individual, shot 77 and finished tied for 30th.

Granite Bay’s Elle Bushnell was the medalist with her round of 66. She was one of four players to shoot in the 60s.

Pleasant Grove won the team title with a round of 363, followed by Granite Bay (374) and Lodi (380). Those three teams will advance to the Northern California tournament.

Since Bushnell advances to the NorCal tourney with her team, Rodriguez’s Nikki Chindavong (68), Mountain House’s Ashley Xu (69), Folsom’s Saanvi Kotti (69) and El Capitan’s Esther She (70) advance to the NorCal tournament as individuals.

“If you look at the top three teams from this tournament, each team had two players shoot under par,” said THS coach Mary Krupka. “The majority of their players shot in the 70s and a few in the low 80s. Those teams are loaded with talent. We have some quality players and they are still trying to put it all together to shoot consistently in the 70s. As with every year, some of these teams are going to lose their hot-shots to graduation, so we need to be ready to step in and move up the rankings.”



Downey 70, Pitman 13, at Modesto — The Pride (2-8, 1-4) closed out a rough 2022 season with a rough performance against the Central California Athletic League champion Knights, who closed the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record on Friday at Chuck Hughes Stadium.

Downey was given the No. 3 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs and a first-round bye.

The Pride was without the services of running back Joey Stout, who was ineligible for Friday’s game after being ejected a week earlier in a 56-22 win over Modesto after drawing two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Per section rules, an ejected player must sit out the following week’s game.

Denair 52, Waterford 39, at Waterford — The Coyotes (2-8, 1-6) closed out the season with an impressive Southern League win over the Wildcats, scoring a season-high 52 points.

Denair’s only other victory of the season came on Sept. 2 — a 45-0 drubbing of Riverbank, which finished the season 0-10. In their eight losses this season, the Coyotes averaged just 10 points per contest.