The streak continues for the Pitman High Pride who recorded their 22nd consecutive straight-set victory on Monday with a 25-17, 25-17, and 25-4 win over Turlock High. Now ranked 74th in the nation and 14th in the state of California, the Pride comfortably sit atop the Central California Conference standings while Turlock sits in second place.
“These girls deserve it. They've worked really hard. We have eight seniors, they've been putting in four years at Pitman, all of the club years, and they deserve it,” Pitman head coach Kristin Pontes said. “To do it in three games, or two games for tournaments, is amazing. They just don't like to lose and it shows on the court. They keep their intensity up, the momentum's going, consistency. It's all there.”
The Bulldogs tested their cross town rivals considerably in the first two sets, making it 15-17 in the first and 12-13 in the second before the Pride hit their stride and pulled away for the wins. In both sets, each time Turlock gained momentum or closed in on Pitman’s lead, the Pride managed big runs to shift the momentum back in their favor.
“They came in ready mentally. But those two sets where we were close, we had unfortunate lulls where we let somebody get four or five points, and those were death. You can't do that against Pitman,” Turlock head coach Amber Castillon said.
“I know they're in second place in league and now they're battling for second through fourth. I knew that they were going to come in here on fire and really wanting it from us,” Pontes said of Turlock. “They're a very talented team. I never look past any team, especially them.”
After putting up a fight in the first two sets, Turlock faltered in the third. Pitman scored 20 unanswered points to seal the match win as its players displayed the chemistry and ability that has so many people buzzing about the 2014 squad.
“I think this team has it all. They're solid not only in the front row, but they're solid in the back row. They want it, they're intense and competitive. They hate to lose and I think they just love the sport,” Pontes said. “They play so well together as a team. You can have great individuals on the court, but if they don't play together and they don't have team chemistry, it just falls apart. This team is so close on the court and off the court, and it shows.”
Lindsey Vander Weide finished the game with 14 kills and 8 digs for Pitman. Maddy Halteman recorded 38 assists and two blocks and Stephanie Simmons walked off the court with 8 kills.
Freshman Jadyn Tubbs led Turlock with six kills and 11 digs.
The Bulldogs will look to maintain their second place position in the CCC today as they take on third place Golden Valley High on the road.
As for Pitman, its girls will host Atwater High today as they look to continue their impressive win streak.
“Of course, we would love to do it undefeated and in three sets every game, but we're looking at it — we condition every day, we're in top shape — so if we go to four if we go to five, it's ok,” Pontes said. “These girls want to be undefeated until the end so that's keeping them motivated."