It was payback time for Pitman High on Thursday when the Pride hosted Atwater High’s volleyball team. The Falcons had defeated Pitman at the Golden Valley Tournament a couple weeks ago and head coach Kristen Pontes and her girls wanted to show Atwater it was a fluke; that they were the better team.
“It was motivation for us to show them what we’re capable of,” Pontes said of the loss.
Pitman accomplished its goal, and in grand fashion, beating Atwater in straight sets (25-16, 25-20, and 26-24). In fact, the third set proved to be the most closely contested of the night as the first two were overwhelmingly dominated by the Pride who didn’t trail on the scoreboard the entire match.
“Atwater played very tough in the third game; they made us earn every point,” Pontes said. “I’m proud of my girls for doing it in three because Atwater is a good team.”
Pitman opened the match by showcasing presence and power at the net with sophomore Lindsey Vande Weide (10 kills, 4 blocks) and junior Angelica Harding and speed on the back court with senior Cami Larson (13 digs) and sophomore Maddy Halteman (31 assists).
In the second set Pitman relied on its serving and was aided by miscommunication on Atwater’s part as the Pride maintained a strong lead. Atwater momentarily pulled within three points of Pitman but was unable to pull ahead. The Falcons got close in the third set, however, where they seemed to wake up in the presence of looming defeat.
“They weren’t going to give up,” Pontes said of Atwater.
The Falcons managed to stay within one to two points for the majority of the set and as time elapsed they seemed to get stronger. Atwater finally tied the score late in the set at 17, one of the five ties in the final set. The final tie happened at the 24th point but the Pride rallied to finish the match, the last point of which was scored by a line drive spike from Sierrah Miller.
“Every team is tough but to win in three is what we strive to do,” Pontes said. “It’s very rewarding.”
Pitman’s next stop is cross-town rival Turlock High on Tuesday. The Pride will play at the Bulldogs’ home court in the final match of the first round of CCC competition. The game begins at 6 p.m.