By KYLE MCDANIEL
Fresh off winning the National Title over the summer with his Zona 17-1 club volleyball team, Coach Dan Bithell was coming into the season on a high.
However, it would be short lived, as his Pima Aztecs would go 1-5 at the New Mexico Military Institute Classic Tournament in Roswell.
Aug. 25: PCC 0, Garden City CC 3
Losing in straight sets doesn’t tell the whole story for this match, as PCC easily could have taken two of the three sets, which ended in 23-25, 17-25 and 23-25. It was a trio of sophomores that led the Aztecs in the opening match: Anissa Conrad (Sahuaro HS), Victoria Davis (Sahuaro HS) and Kayli Riesgo (Cienaga HS). Pima would have been buried if it wasn’t for Conrad and Davis combining for 27 digs, with Davis adding nine kills
and two aces. And don’t forget about Riesgo, who was out there moving the ball like Chris Paul with 21 assists.
Aug. 25: PCC 0, Seward CC 3
Much to the dismay of the team, the Aztecs fell in straight sets again, starting off the tournament 0-2, 11-25, 17-25 and 17-25.The trio of Conrad, Davis and Riesgo were the stars of the show once more, but they were helped with sophomore Jamie Ricksecker (Pusch Ridge Christian HS) and freshman Caley Bringmann (Dimond HS, Anchorage, AK) who each added four kills. Riesgo was a distribution machine out there with 26 assists while adding two aces and one block to her stat line. Tacking on 12 kills, 15 digs, and one ace was Davis, who, like her teammates, was giving her all, but it sadly wasn’t enough.
Getting two aces and leading the team again in digs with 16 was Conrad. Two more games left on the docket for the Aztecs, which gives us two more chances to get a victory.
Aug. 26: PCC 0, Hutchinson CC 3
The Aztecs fell in straight sets, 12-25, 22-25 and 20-25, but they went down ghting. Freshman Kaitlin Schmich (Mountain View HS) led the squad this match in kills with 12 while supplementing that with seven digs. Meanwhile, Conrad has dug herself a big hole once more as the team’s leader in digs with 16. Pima still has one more chance to grab a win, and it will be against the hosts.
Aug. 26: PCC 0, New Mexico Military Institute 3
Coming into the fourth and nal match of the tournament against the hosts, the Aztecs were looking for their rst win to give them a spark heading into the conference play. However, NMMI had other ideas as they took the match in straight sets 23-25, 22-25 and 15-25. Bene ting from Riesgo, who would end the nal game with a team tournament- high 31 assists, was Davis and Schmich combining for 23 kills. Davis would also have a team tournament high of 18 digs in the nal game, showing the girls were not giving up until the nal whistle.
Aug. 30: PCC 0, Glendale Community College 3
Glendale Community College handed Pima its fth straight loss to open the season, sweeping us in straight sets 22-25, 22-25 and 19-25. Conrad must be related to a miner because she lead the team in digs again with 18.
Davis and Ricksecker added their support as well combining for 10 kills, 11 digs and 3 blocks. Not a great way to start off conference play, but plenty of matches to go.
Sept. 1: PCC 3, Phoenix College 1
Pima was ready to go for their home opener at West Campus as they won their rst match. With a lead of 23-19 in the rst set and needing a spark to nish it off Davis came through with an excellent kill, followed by Kylee Ashment’s (Highland HS) beautiful ace. To win the second set in the match Pima had to rally from being down 14-18, and they would do just that taking a 25-22 victory.
The Aztecs were going down the same road from previous matches when they lost the third set, and went down 3-9 in the fourth. You could tell there was something different tonight as the Aztecs were not going to lose. They rallied to take a 14-12 lead, and wouldn’t look back as they got the 25-17 victory, winning their rst match.
Riesgo was an assist monster with 52, she would go on to add 14 digs and two aces. Davis also had a killer night with 23 kills and 18 digs, with Schmich posting her own 11 kills and 14 digs.