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Pride coach wins No. 250 after a 3-0 win over Bears
Pitman Volley 1
Madison King of Pitman High attempts to save the ball from hitting the ground in Tuesdays 3-0 win over Merced High. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Pitman varsity head coach Kristen Pontes-Christian reached a milestone on Tuesday afternoon from home, capturing official victory No. 250 after her Pride squad defeated Merced High, 3-0, (25-8, 25-15 and 25-16).

“I would say it’s a combination of every player in the last 11 years,” said Pontes-Christian. “The hard work that has gone into this program, especially focusing on the last five years or so, but I think it’s just amazing players who wanted to get the job done who wanted to work hard and that is what it comes down to.”

Pontes-Christian has also won 103 games in the Central California Conference after Tuesday’s win.

The Pride are off to a 3-0 start in the CCC, maintaining their strength and consistency year in and year out.

 “I look at it as consistency because things in this program, whereas other programs change, but it’s the consistent rules, the expectations and the success has been consistent,” said Pontes-Christian. “Players come into the program expecting that, so that is it, when you know how to win and see what it takes.”

The Pride have also won six straight after toppling the Bears.

On Tuesday, Emma Hirschkorn of Pitman finished with a team-high 16 assists. Cierra Verdone added one block, five aces, seven kills and six digs. Grace Willming added six kills and Madison Wood added six aces.  

Since 2009, the Pride have not had a losing record and since 2010, they have won 18 games or more.

“It’s a mindset, but luckily I think a majority of the kids have that. It’s a great coaching staff, everyone on the same page and players that work year round and will work as hard as we can for as long as we can,” Pontes-Christian said.

“What I am dealing with this on this team, they want to do it their own way and I think that is why we get into the situation we get ourselves into. Whereas teams before listened more and this team is having a little bit of a hard time doing that, so that is where we are struggling, but still trying to figure it out. Hopefully it starts to come together, but we need a few things executed better,” Pontes-Christian added.