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Pride volley falls to Raiders in pre-league meeting
Pitman volley 1
Pitman High’s Taylor Vannest (1) and Brionna Sims (4) go up for a block during Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Central Catholic (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

Fresh off a big 3-0 sweep over last year’s Central Section Division-I runners-up, Central High of Fresno, the Pitman Pride volleyball team fell, 3-0, on Thursday night from home in a pre-league matchup with Central Catholic. 

“They have some good players, so we anticipated a tough match. I don’t know if my girls knew how tough it was. We saw them at a scrimmage in Hilmar and they have improved,” said Pitman head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian. “I think we tried to do too much on the court and in doing that, we didn’t do enough. They played well, I will give it to them, they didn’t make many mistakes and Abby Castillon is just amazing. Such a great team with her included.” 

Sophomore outside hitter Castillon remained consistent threat to the Pride and was without a doubt the catalyst on occasions when things looked stagnant. 

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Freshman Megan Hall (6) of Pitman High hits the ball for a kill during Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Central Catholic (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

From start to finish, CC maintained a steady pace to control the match.

When Pitman looked to rally, Castillon and the Raiders erased any possibility of a comeback. 

In the first set, CC topped Pitman, 25-14. 

The second set was the most lopsided after a 25-12 final. 

The third set was the most competitive, but despite the brief sparks, CC was able to come out on top, 25-17. 

“We are improving. We are still young minded and I think there is a lot going through our minds and we are still practicing some things, but it doesn’t always show on the court in game situations so we are focusing on that. But it is baby steps, one thing at a time,” said Pontes-Christian. “We have improved in our last couple of matches, but tonight we didn’t do so well.” 

Pitman is now 7-6 overall as they head into the weekend break. 

Pitman’s next game will be a road contest at West High of Tracy at 5:30 p.m. Monday.