For the first time ever Pitman and Turlock varsity volleyball teams will battle for the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game after each pulled off upsets over the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, on Tuesday night.
“I know on paper we looked like the underdogs but we never felt like underdogs in our minds,” said Turlock head coach Amber Lugo about defeating No. 2 Tracy. “We are super excited and pumped. We are living the volleyball dream; girls really worked extremely hard for this.”
Turlock advances to the Section final for the first time in program history and improve to 26-10 for the year.
“I am so proud of Turlock,” said Pitman head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian. “I have coached many of those players and am so proud, I thought they could make it...it’s a true testament of our talent in our area.”
The Pride advance to their third consecutive D-I title game, having won back-to-back. They improve to 27-7 overall.
“I don’t think it’s ever happened within a town to have both schools in the Section final, it’s pretty cool,” said Pontes-Christian.
Turlock pulled out of Tracy with a 3-1 win, dominating all games while Pitman notched a 3-1 victory over No.1 Oak Ridge.
Pitman and Turlock split the regular season series at 1-1.
Turlock’s Julia Handy added 44 assists. Bella Bush finished with four blocks and Sophie Bigler added three blocks. Jadyn Tubbs added 18 kills and Jazmyn Tubbs finished with 13 kills. Brett Hanson added 10 digs and Handy added eight digs.
Pitman’s Kiyanna Torres finished with a team-high 31 assists. Kaylin Randhawa added six blocks. Yisel Perez added 16 kills and Marlowe Embry finished with a team-high 27 digs and six aces.
Pitman and Turlock will square off for the third time this year at Tokay High at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I feel the advantage we have, is we have many returners and have been there. We're experienced so (that's) definitely to our advantage,” Pontes-Christian added.
“The girls are ready and super excited,” said Lugo. “When we look across the net, we are just thinking, Pitman… we play them in league, that is how we will approach it, we play them in league and let’s play.”