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Pride volley sweeps East Union in home opener
Pitmans Kaylin Randhawa (left) and Grace Willming (right) go up for a block against an East Union player during the second set of Tuesdays win. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Tuesday’s 3-0 sweep over East Union might have been a straight sets victory for Pitman volleyball, but the leaders for the Pride are not content with their performance.

“We can do better, but we played well,” said Pitman’s Yisel Perez, who had the game’s final kill. “Once we start playing together I think we will be really good. We just need to get together and we were very positive today and cheering each other.”

“As we talked about last game, we had some things that we were working on which we executed much better in this match and I was happy with that,” said Pitman head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian.

The win also marked the Pride’s 10th consecutive season where they have won their regular season home opener. They currently hold a 10-0 record in home openers since the 2007 season under coach Pontes-Christian.

“We were focused on our side of the net,” said Pontes-Christian. “We had a quicker tempo and we did a much better job serving. We had been working on our errors, since we had been talking about all that since our first match.”

In the first set, the Pride jumped ahead early on East Union, eventually setting the closest set of the night with a 12-point difference.

“This match gave us a chance to really work on our new defense and we ran a quicker offense and we were able to run a ton of plays today,” said Pitman senior Kiyanna Torres. “Especially with the free balls, it was good to go a faster pace.”

Torres tallied a game-high 26 assists and was a big contributor to the win.

The Pride committed just two serving errors for the entire match, keeping their tempo and intensity at a high level.

The combination of Perez and Kaylin Randhawa on the outside provided the Pride with an opportunity to blow the game wide open in the final two sets and they did exactly that.

“I am satisfied with how we played since we came together well as a team and our offense has been putting in work during practice and it's coming together,” said Randhawa. “We are working on it and working on our kinks, and I think once we get there, we will have more confidence going into league.”

East Union had no chance, especially in the second set which was the most lopsided set of the night after Pitman won it by 16 points. EU did not gain any double digit points until later in the third set.

Pitman’s lead quickly extended to 11 in the third and final set as the Pride’s ability proved to be far superior to East Union's.

Up 24-12, Torres set up Perez on the outside area and Perez was able to get high in the air and powered the ball down to the opposite inside corner to end the game with a kill.

“I just wanted to put the ball away. I always want to get a kill, even if the game is close or not,” said Perez of the final kill.

Randhawa tallied 1 block and 12 kills while Perez added seven clutch kills.

Denae Finney added three aces and Marlowe Embry had 6 digs.

“I think everyone was excited, even though the score didn’t seem close, we had fun. I think we have to play together to keep this pace up, once we do, we are solid,” Perez added.

“It was a good game. Good to have different preseason teams and different matchups as well,” Pontes-Christian added. “It’s always good to see the differences and to make sure on our side we stay positive and consistent moving forward into the game against Oakdale.”

Pitman’s next game will be against Oakdale at home at 6 p.m. Thursday.