By Eric Townsend
Photo by Ed Adams
The Pima Community College volleyball team lost seven straight to end its playoff chances, but responded with a perfect road trip.
On Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, the Aztecs (8-21, 3-13 Arizona Community College Athletic Association) earned their first consecutive three-game sweeps.
“After we realized our playoff hopes were eliminated, it can be difficult to finish out the season strong,” head coach Dan Bithell said. “But I felt we were on the same page, staying with each other, and working for each other and staying with the team.”
From Oct. 1 to Oct. 20, the Aztecs suffered a seven match losing streak. Pima started the year by losing 12 straight.
“For our freshmen, it’s an experience to understand how difficult it is to win in this conference” Bithell said. “Also to understand the things you need to do to put yourself in a position to win and to get better at the end of the season.”
Pima traveled north on Oct. 22 to face South Mountain Community College. The Aztecs came away victorious, winning in three sets, 25-17, 25-20 and 25-23.
Outsider hitters freshman Angie Banks and sophomore Ashley Hamilton led the Aztecs with 10 kills each. Freshman setter Czarina Schutt had 25 assists and sophomore Jessica Manley played well defensively, contributing 11 digs to the effort.
The next night, Pima played at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. The Aztecs won again in three sets, 25-20, 25-11, 25-18. Sophomore outside hitter Krista Kallish led the offensive attack for the Aztecs with 11 kills. Schutt again played well, adding 30 assists, and Banks played well defensively, leading all Aztecs with 12 digs.
“Last weekend, I felt was a good opportunity for us to be together on a long trip and be able to put together some good things,” Bithell said.
As the season wound down, PCC was just playing for pride. Pima hosted Arizona Western College on Oct. 27 in their last home match. The results were unavailable at press time.
Their last game will be on Friday, Oct. 29, when they travel to Mesa Community College.
“I’m excited about our last week” Bithell said. “We have a chance to win two more.”
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