by DEANNA SHERMAN
The Pima Community College volleyball team (17-16, 7-9 in ACCAC) ended their season early with an elimination loss to South Mountain Community College in their second game of the Region I, Division II tournament in Glendale on Friday, Nov. 6. In just three sets, the No.4 ranked Aztecs fell to No.3 ranked South Mountain, 25-21, 26-24, 25-21.
Sophomore Miranda Bingham had 24 assists, 17 digs and three aces while fellow sophomore Angel Chavez had 18 digs of her own. Sophomore Jamie Holliday finished with 10 kills and one block.
Pima opened the tournament against the No.1 seed Glendale Community College on Thursday, Nov. 5, falling in straight sets 25-19, 25-17, 25-20. The Aztecs peaked in the second set with an 11-10 lead but couldn’t finish the set or the match strong as Glendale swept all three sets.
Holliday and sophomore Brooklyn Scarborough each had eight kills. Bingham had 22 assists and two aces with Chavez staying consistent with 21 digs.
“My first thought is unfortunately disappointment,” said Pima head coach Dan Bithell, as he reflected on the season. “…but overall we had a terrific season. We had more season wins than then the previous…the programs at a good place.”
The Aztecs finished their regular season play with an exciting five-set victory over Chandler-Gilbert on Friday, Oct. 30.
It took Pima a bit to get warmed up as it looked like Chandler-Gilbert was going to take the game after winning the first two sets. Ultimately that was all Chandler-Gilbert would get as the Aztecs rallied back and took the game in the last three sets to finish 21-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-17, 15-11.
Pima had three players in double figures for kills. Scarborough with 19, Davis produced 16 kills and sophomore Mariah Rodriguez had 11. Bingham had an impressive 60 assists, 23 digs and five aces. Chavez finished the match with 27 digs.
Sophomores Bingham and Chavez were honored by the ACCAC conference for their impressive skills and accomplishments this season.
Bingham was named second team All-ACCAC and to the All-Region I, Division II team. Bingham broke the single season school record in assists with 1,209 (9.37 average per set) and had 469 digs and 69 aces. She also finished first in the ACCAC in aces, averaging 0.53 a set.
The team’s libero, Chavez, was selected to the All-ACCAC honorable mention team. Chavez broke the Pima school record with 681 digs (5.32 per set). She also had 98 assists and 37 aces. She also finished first in the ACCAC with number of digs.
“Bingham and Chavez have been consistent all year,” said Bithell. “Defensively Holliday has also stood out this season…the strength was the whole team”
As for next year, Bithell is still “in the grieving process” but looks forward to “the terrific kids coming back…I’m excited to work with them again.”
The Aztecs finished the season with a 17-16 overall record and made their third straight appearance at the Region I, Division II tournament. The team will have seven returning including freshman standout, middle-blocker Kristen Baldwin who finished second in the ACCAC averaging 1.11 blocks per set.