Pitman and Turlock High’s volleyball teams met on the court Tuesday night, in the second meeting of the season at Pitman High.
Turlock lost, 0-3, in the first meeting and they came back with a fury this time around, but it wasn’t enough to clinch a victory as the Pride, who are much more experienced, won it 3-0 (25-16, 25-21 and 25-16).
“We had a lot of unforced errors, too many runs and things I said we needed to avoid, but they played so hard and they never quit,” said Turlock head coach Amber Castillon. “The last time we played them they quit in the last game but it was good to see them grind it out till the end.”
“I would say Turlock is tough, they definitely give us a run. They are ready to play every time we play them,” said Pitman head coach Kristen Pontes. “They are playing their best because they want to beat us—at least one set. It was a fun match from beginning to end.”
It was a brutal and intense start from both sides as they exchanged points back and forth in the first game.
The score would eventually read 12-14 in favor of Pitman during the contest but an 11-4 run by the Pride secured their first game victory of the evening.
“Losing is not an option for them, not to mention they make everything look so easy out there,” Pontes said. “The game of volleyball is difficult, but they make it look easy because these girls are that tough and that talented.”
The second game would be closest of them all after the exact same start from the first game, set the standards high as the crowd grew even louder throughout this game.
Pitman was up 20-12, but a Turlock surge of 7-3 quickly made this matchup even closer with the score at 23-19.
Pontes called a timeout and the Pride just looked like the machine they have been all season long as they ended it on a 2-2 run, despite the great effort from the Bulldogs players.
“The game of volleyball consists of constant adjusting, but these girls are so talented that they already know when they need to do that,” Pontes said. “I can call a timeout and quickly adjust the defense with no problem. I have so many bench players that can get the job done in case somebody isn’t doing it and the girls know that. It’s a healthy competition between them.”
Turlock and their three freshman standouts looked nothing like underclassmen. Julia Handy, Kennedy Folly and Jadyn Tubbs were matching the Pride’s junior and seniors players for most of the match but the consistency and effectiveness of Pitman’s attack was too much.
“The future is bright,” said Castillon. “These young girls we have are just so impressive.”
Tubbs would end her night with two aces, three kills, one block and nine digs. Handy finished with four kills, 21 assists and three digs.
“Turlock never gave up and so I got to give that to them,” Pontes said. “Our girls stay motivated and stay consistent with our demanding practices and that’s all I can ask for from them.”
Pitman would roll over the Bulldogs in the start of the third game, leading by as much as 10 points in the match and a late surge was stopped by Lindsey Vander Weide as they won the final game by nine.
Vander Weide finished with 13 kills, two aces and two blocks.
Pitman has now won 44 consecutive Central California Conference matches and stand in first place with a 10-0 league record and a perfect 27-0 for the season, ranked 15 in the state after the win.
“The goal is always to go undefeated. These girls want to do it in league, in the postseason and in tournaments. These girls hate to lose,” Pontes added.
Turlock is now 6-4 in the CCC with a 16-8 overall posting and sit third in league, just behind Golden Valley.
“Monday will be our deciding factor for the postseason,” Castillon added. “We will be ready especially after this tournament coming up this weekend to keep loose and get ready for GV.”
Turlock and Pitman will be competing in this weekend’s Stockton Classic tournament that consists of 16 teams, with game time beginning at 8:30 a.m.