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Pride volley kicks off league with straight sets win
Pitman Volley 2
Pitmans Avery Carlson (left) and Cierra Verdone (right) go up for a block attempt during Tuesdays 3-0 victory over Atwater. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Pitman varsity volleyball is off to a 1-0 start in the Central California Conference after defeating Atwater High on Tuesday night in the Pride’s home league opener, 3-0.

The victory also gave head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian win No. 200.

“I think they seemed a bit more confident and relaxed, kind of getting what we are trying to practice and focus on during the game and they are executing better,” said Pontes-Christian. “We still have a ways to go, but we are focusing on a quicker tempo offense.”

Since dropping three straight contests in their first six pre-league games, the Pride have now won six of their last seven after Tuesday’s victory.

They improve to 8-5 overall and 1-0 in the CCC.

“Just working on control and keeping down the errors and mistakes and playing smart, that was kind of the focus, especially with less experience,” said Pontes-Christian. “That is something we need to continue to work on.”

With the win, the Pride have now won seven straight CCC openers dating back to 2011. Their last loss to open up league play was against Golden Valley on Sept. 15, 2010.

“It always feels to get that first win in league,” said Pontes-Christian. “We don’t take anyone for granted and so every match will be potentially difficult, still a lot of work to do but we are focusing on what we need to do.”

The Pride, who were coming off three straight victories in the Central California Classic this past weekend, continued their win streak at four straight with Tuesday’s convincing victory over Atwater.

Tuesday night started off well for the Pride, who came out and didn’t hold back, going up 4-0 and eventually taking the victory, 25-11.

The momentum carried into the second set where the Pride finished off that game exactly the same, winning by 14 points.

“We are cutting down the errors so that is good,” said Pontes-Christian. “We have more of a set lineup and I think it helps the girls, just the consistency of it and we are trying to find what works.”

The Pride finished off Atwater in straight sets, 25-13, earning their fourth straight sets win so far.

Fallon Evans finished the game with 12 digs and 24 assists. Emma Hirschkorn added four aces. Madison King finished with a block and Cierra Verdone added 8 kills, a block and 8 digs. Grace Willming capped off the game with 8 kills.

The next game for the Pride will be a road matchup at Golden Valley at 6 p.m. Thursday.