The Pitman High girls volleyball team emerged victorious over undefeated Turlock High on Tuesday night in a straight sets sweep, evening both squads’ records at 7-1.
The Bulldogs beat the Pride 3-1 earlier in the season on April 29, and Pitman head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian said her team was better prepared this time around.
“Every one of them did their job...We had a plan and we executed that plan,” Pontes-Christian said. “We saw them the first round and knew what we had to do. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it the first time, but we did it tonight.”
The 3-0 victory was a team effort by the Pride, who won each set 27-25, 25-11 and 25-19, respectively. The first set saw Pitman pull off nine scores in the final 11 serves to earn the win, and the team dominated the second set. Although the third set saw Pride libero Madison Hall leave the game with a knee injury, the Pride fought through a back-and-forth scoring battle to emerge victorious — even with players out of position.
“My six-foot-two middle blocker was playing back row but they got it done,” Pontes-Christian said.
Lauren Hamilton and Megan Hall led the scoring for Pitman with nine kills apiece; Hamilton also had three blocks on the night and Megan Hall had an ace as well. Mimi Verdone followed with eight kills, while Haley Freeman came in clutch with 32 assists and an ace of her own. Taylor Vannest had five blocks at the net, and Madison Hall has 22 digs and an ace before she came out of the game.
The match was Pitman’s second-to-last home game of the season and the team will see just two seniors graduate this year. The short season gave Pontes-Christian a chance to preview how the team will do in the fall, she said, and she’s expecting another successful year come 2021-22.
“This is a season we thought we’d never have, so we haven’t taken it for granted and are just trying to have fun. It’s been a whirlwind but I’m proud of them,” she said. “I wish we were just now going into league because that’s how it feels it should be...We finally hit our stride and everything we’ve been working on is happening. We’re prepared for fall when it really matters.”
Pitman will next welcome Modesto High to their home gym at 7 p.m. for the season’s final game Thursday, and Turlock will play away at Gregori High.