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MEN'S SOCCER: Coach confident in talented young team

MEN’S SOCCER: Coach confident in talented young team

By BETO HOYOS

Three games into the season, the Pima Community College men’s soccer team remained undefeated. The No. 19-ranked Aztecs beat No. 9 Phoenix College 2-1 at home in a comeback thriller on Aug. 29. Phoenix College scored first in the 26th minute.

The Aztecs had a hard time breaking down the defense and remained down at halftime. In the second half, the Aztecs brought their aggressive side to the field. Sophomore midfielder Arturo Vega hit a free kick to tie the game in the 51st minute.

Freshman forward Rene Huerta was in the right place at the right time when he scored the game-winning goal in the 94th minute off a deflection. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas secured five saves for the Aztecs. Both teams had four shots on goal.

Last season, the team advanced to the semifinals of the Region I playoffs before losing to long-time nemesis Yavapai College.

This season, the Aztecs say they are more focused. “We expect to compete,” head coach David Cosgrove said. “Our goal is always the same, to compete for a region and a national title.” The coach spent the early season looking for weaknesses and aspects that need improvement, but said he is confident his team will get better. “Our movement of the ball wasn’t up to speed and our fitness wasn’t quite there,” he said. “It’s a long season and we’ll just keep improving.”

The Aztecs won an Aug. 28 home opener against South Mountain Community College by a score of 1-0. Sophomore midfielder Christian Garcia-Cabello scored the only goal of the game off a deflection in the 18th minute with an assist from freshman forward Alejandro Gonzalez. The Pima defense did not allow a single shot on goal.

The Aztecs had 10 shots on goal, including eight in the first half. The Aztecs opened the season Aug. 22 with a 3-0 victory over Arizona Western College in Yuma. “Yuma has a very good team, second or third in the conference, so getting a win against a team like that is always a confidence booster,” Cosgrove said.

Vega got the Aztecs on the board in the 33rd minute and the Aztecs held a 1-0 lead going into halftime. In the 61st minute, freshman midfielder Santiago Carrillo gave the Aztecs a 2-0 lead. Shortly after, freshman midfielder Ryan Bristow scored the Aztecs’ third goal.

Cosgrove said he expects strong play from sophomores Christian Garcia and Vega, who are both former Tucson All City high school players. Carrillo has also caught his attention. “Fans should come out and support us because we have a top 20 program here and we’re ready to bring soccer back in a big way,” Cosgrove said.

Freshman defender Gabe Zepp gives his opponent the shake and bake

Freshman defender Gabe Zepp gives his opponent the shake and bake

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By Beto Hoyos

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Shields earns player of the week

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team opened its season 2-1 in conference play.

The Aztecs shut out Phoenix College 1-0 on Aug. 29. Sophomore Shannon Shields scored in the 63rd minute off an assist from sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer. “I think we did well on all parts of the field,” Ridlinghafer said.

Sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez had six saves. On Aug. 28, the Aztecs dominated South Mountain College 10-1. The Aztecs scored five goals in each half. Shields scored three goals with one assist and sophomore Sarah Dunbar scored two goals. Ridlinghafer contributed one goal and three assists. Freshmen Erin Gall, Aracely Romero, Chloe Cox and Devyn Hunley also scored goals.

Shields was named ACCAC Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 25-31.

The Aztecs kicked off their season on Aug. 22 with a 3-0 loss against Arizona Western College. Gonzales recorded 18 saves. “It was disappointing that she didn’t get rewarded for her performance,” head coach Kendra Veliz said.

Veliz said returning sophomores Gonzales, Sarah Dunbar, Liz Valenzuela and Alexis Veney have shown leadership. “The sophomores came in really strong and fit, and set the standard for everybody else,” she said. The Aztecs are confident they will continue a winning tradition. “Historically we do pretty well,” Veliz said. “We always make the playoffs, so that’s an obvious expectation, to continue that legacy.”

Many of the players have been around soccer for most of their lives, and Veliz believes her team has a lot to prove this season. “Fans can expect to see some players that have played at a higher level and for different reasons came to Pima,” she said. “I think people will see a high energy set of experienced players.”

By Beto Hoyos

Callen Shelton looks to set up a teammate with an assist

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Photo by Beto Hoyos

VOLLEYBALL: Opening win ‘Great team effort’

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College volleyball team opened conference play with a thrilling win and a disappointing loss. The loss came during their first home match on Aug. 29 against South Mountain Community College.

The Aztecs lost in three sets and had a hard time finding any momentum against a strong defense. “They’re a tough team,” head coach Dan Bithell said. “They’re more physical than a couple of the teams we’ve played so far.”

Bithell said his Aztecs are talented but the team wasn’t playing to its capabilities. “Maybe there were some jitters for the first home match or something like that but we weren’t in any sort of rhythm as a group,” he said. He’s confident the team will keep improving, and will be better prepared for the next meeting against South Mountain. “It’s a long season,” he said. “We’ll meet up with these guys again and hopefully we’ll have a better game plan.”

Sophomores Nykole Adun and Kaysee Pilgrim each finished with eight kills. Sophomore Liz Mata had 23 assists.

The win came Aug. 27 when Pima opened conference play in Thatcher against Eastern Arizona College. Pima dropped two early sets and had to fight back. Eastern brought out its entire arsenal but the Aztecs kept their composure.

“It was a great team effort,” Bithell said. “We had to make constant adjustments and everyone had great contributions.”

The win helped boost team confidence. “I think the team is amazing,” freshman Mariah Rodriguez said. “We’ve bonded and connected on many levels.” Freshman Brooklyn Scarborough predicted the Aztecs will wins lots of games. “I think we’re going to be pretty good,” she said.

The Aztecs were scheduled to play Phoenix College on Sept. 3. The match took place after Aztec Press went to the printer. Pima opened its season on Aug. 22-23 at the New Mexico Military Institute Classic in Roswell. In the opening match against Yavapai College, the Aztecs won the first set but dropped the next three. In the second match, Pima defeated Air Force Prep (Colorado) in three sets.

On the second day of the tournament, the Aztecs won a match against Odessa College (Texas). They dropped the first set but came back to take three straight. In the final match, the Aztecs faced host NMMI. They could not muster enough energy to stay with their opponent and tasted defeat in three sets.

 

Photo by Beto Hoyos

team mates work together to block a ball

Photo by Beto Hoyos

Sophomore Nykole Adun returns a volley with some power

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Ex-Pima athletes sign with universities

Ex-Pima athletes sign with universities

By DIEGO LOZANO III

Pima Community College’s fall sports teams have kicked off their seasons, which means new student-athletes have arrived to fill the void of past student alumni.

A number of former Aztecs will equally fill the void for universities at the next level. Here’s a look at some key signings that took place over the summer.

Softball Former Aztec slugger Alexis Dotson will stay local but receive an opportunity to shine under the bright lights of Hillenbrand Stadium as an Arizona Wildcat. Dotson was selected as an NJCAA First-Team All-American during Pima’s 2014 campaign. Stacey Ramirez, a former Pima shortstop, will head to Canyon, Texas, to play for the West Texas A&M Buffaloes.

Baseball Former baseball players Cole Plouck and Kellen Marruffo will not only continue their careers as student-athletes but potentially as professionals. Plouck was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 16th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. He signed a letter of intent to play at Florida International University. Marruffo was also named First-Team All-ACCAC. He will suit up for the University of Utah.

Basketball Women’s basketball made a strong run during last season’s ACCAC playoffs, but many of the team’s main contributors will not be on the Aztec bench in 2014. Alicia Jones has relocated to Tallahassee to play for Florida A&M University. At Pima, Jones averaged 14 points. Her former teammate Raja Moreno-Ross will be across the globe at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. Moreno-Ross was named a NJCAA First-Team All-American last season.

On the men’s side, Shakir Smith led the NJCAA Division II in scoring with more than 29 points per game. Against Phoenix College, the eventual Division II national champions, Smith racked up 54 points in Pima’s thrilling overtime 108-104 loss. Smith should prep for a cold winter at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo.

Raja Moreno-Ross (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Raja Moreno-Ross (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

 

Smith is headed to Adams state in Colorado

Smith is headed to Adams state in Colorado

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GOLF: Teams finish in top 20 at nationals

GOLF: Teams finish in top 20 at nationals

By NICK MEYERS

The Pima Community College men’s and women’s golf teams finished their season at the NCJAA National Tournaments.

The men’s team took 19th place in Burlington, Iowa, on May 16 with sophomore Tyler Cooper and freshman Ben Bradford tying for 79th individually.

The women’s team took 11th place in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 15 with sophomore Josie Trapnell tying for 40th individually.

Men finish 19th of 22 teams

The men’s team wrapped up their last tournament with a score of 1,290 points. The Aztecs achieved their lowest total in the third round with 316 points.

Cooper and Bradford tied for 79th place individually with scores of 324. The two players matched each other’s total on the second and last day of play. Both shot 77 for their lowest round scores — Cooper in the third round and Bradford in the final.

The rest of the team’s scores followed closely. Sophomore Anthony Moncada came in with 325 points, shooting a 79 in the third round for his lowest. Freshman Gabe Borboa and sophomore David Chung came in at 326 and 328 respectively.

Borboa put up his lowest score in the first round with 78 and Chung in the third round with 79.

 Women place 11th of 15 teams

The women’s tournament was cut short due to weather conditions, resulting in three days of play ending on May 15. The Aztecs scored 377 points on their first and final days and 381 on the second day.

Trapnell closed the tournament with a final score of 259 and the team’s lowest individual round score of 85. She tied for 40th place individually in the tournament.

Freshman Martha Felix finished with 268 points, scoring a low of 88 on her two final days. Sophomore Brittney Makar shot a total of 300 points, with her lowest score happening in the first round at 94 points.

Freshman Paige Valles showed constant improvement throughout the tournament, shaving three points off her first-round score in her second day and four points off that score in her third round. She shot a total of 308, with a low of 99 on the third day.

Freshman Beth Mentjox shot a total of 343 for the Aztecs, with a low of 111 in the second round. Men take 19th place in Iowa

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By NICK MEYERS

Pima Community College’s men’s golf team landed on the green with a third-place finish at the Division 1 regional tournament in Phoenix April 24-27.

The Aztecs took an early lead in the first round, with sophomore David Chung sitting at the No. 1 spot in individual rankings hitting par with a score of 71.

Freshman Gabe Borboa and sophomore Anthony Moncada followed in fifth and sixth place with scores of 73 and 74.

Chung maintained second place by the end of day two, shooting a 75 for the 70-par course, but dropped to sixth following a rough round of 85. He finished the tournament in fifth place after shooting another 75 for a total of 306, earning him a spot on the All-Region team.

Borboa nearly mimicked Chung with a final score of 308, which earned him a tie for eighth place but lost in the contest for the All-Region spot. He shot a 73, two-over par, on his best day.

Moncada ended the tournament with 311 points.

Sophomore Tyler Cooper finished with 316 points and a four-over par on his second day with 75 points. Freshman Ben Bradford totaled 317 points with a 75 on his last day.

The Aztecs totaled 304 points in the final round in contrast to 310 and 323 on days two and three and 294 in the opening round.

“The kids played better today,” coach Clark Rustand said on the last day of play. “But, it wasn’t enough to dig ourselves out of the hole we dug the previous two days.”

Moncada was named Second Team All-Conference on April 27 after averaging 73 points per round during the regular season.

The men’s team will compete in the NCJAA National Championships in Burlington, Iowa, on May 14-17.

The women’s team closed out the regular season with a second-place finish on April 22 in the South Mountain Community College Invitational. They will compete in the NJCAA tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 12-15.

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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Ross-Moreno jersey going to hall of fame

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Ross-Moreno jersey going to hall of fame

Compiled from PCC press releases

Pima Community College women’s basketball player Raja Moreno-Ross has received another honor, this time from the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The sophomore’s player jersey will be displayed in the Hall’s Ring of Honor in recognition of her 2013-14 season.

Moreno-Ross is the third Pima women’s basketball player to earn the honor. Pima All-Americans Deanna Daniels (2011) and A’jha Edwards (2013) also had their jerseys displayed in the Ring of Honor.

“Currently, we have over 100 jerseys hanging in the Ring of Honor, including high school and college All-Americans from the 2012-13 season,” Josh Sullivan, director of basketball operations & technology for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, wrote in a letter.

“With that having been the case since the Hall of Fame opened in 1999, you can imagine the caliber of players’ jerseys that have once hung in our rafters,” he wrote. “Without a doubt, Raja Moreno (Ross) is definitely a part of an elite group, and a part of history now too.”

Moreno-Ross was selected by the NJCAA as a Division II first team All-American on April 10.

It was the second straight year that a women’s basketball player was selected a Division II All-American. Moreno-Ross is the fifth Aztec to be selected first team All-American in seven years for the women’s basketball team.

This season, Moreno-Ross started all 32 games for the Aztecs. She averaged 13 points and nine rebounds per game playing almost 25 minutes per game.

Moreno-Ross was also named first team All-ACCAC and first team All-Region I, Division II.

She has verbally committed to play at the University of Hawaii.

Raja Moreno-Ross (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Raja Moreno-Ross (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

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TRACK & FIELD: Aztec wins national title in long jump

TRACK & FIELD: Aztec wins national title in long jump

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track team had a strong showing at the NJCAA Championships on May 16-17 at Mesa Arizona.

Woman’s team takes 12th place

Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez won the national championship in the long jump for the Aztecs with a jump of 18. 11 3/4.

The win marked the second time that an Aztec women’s jumper won a national title this season. Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim won in the high jump at the outdoor nationals early this semester.

Pilgrim came close to hitting her personal best in the high jump at nationals with her third-place jump of of 5 feet, 7¼ inches, earning NJCAA All-American status.

“We had a great squad this season, and I’m very proud of everyone’s effort,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “The women were runnersup in the region for the third year in a row and I’m very proud of that accomplishment.”

The women finished in 12th out of 21 teams competing.

Sophomore Nikki Regalado finished in seventh place in the 5,000-meters with a time of 18: 25.98. She also finished eighth place in the 1500-meters, with a time of 4:56.28.

Freshman Rhiannon Reese finished in seventh place in the pole vault event with a vault of 10-6.

In other women’s events:

  • Freshman Vanessa Fox was 10th in the long jump (17-10¼),
  • Sophomore Ashley Dawson took 12th in the hammer throw (141-4),
  • Freshman Maggie Prillaman took 16th in the long jump (17-3¼),
  • Freshman Raelene Yocupicio finished 18th in the 800 meters (2:25.14),
  • Yocupicio, freshman Shanice Alchesay, sophomore Tenishia Reynolds and freshman Col’Bi Nez were 10th in the 4×800 relay (10:00.03).
Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez in a file photo. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez in a file photo. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men’s team finishes in 28th place

Despite finishing 28th, the Aztec men’s track team had some strong performances at the NJCAA Championships.

Sophomore Alfonso Mejia had the best performance for the Aztecs with his fifth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.50.

In other men’s events:

  • Sophomore Deante Gaines took 10th in the long jump (23-6¼),
  • Sophomore Eddie Wilcox tied for 11th in the high jump (6-8),
  • Freshman Anfernee Alexander took 12th in the discus throw (149-10) and 16th in the shot put (46-9½),
  • Freshman Kevin Snead was 14th in the 100 meter dash (10.68),
  • Sophomore Khailil Hakim was 18th in the long jump (21-7¼),
  • Freshman Cruz Rodriguez was 27th in the 800 meter (1:58.51),
  • Freshman Anthony Spendlove finished 32nd in the 5,000 meter race (16:56.79),
  • The relay team of Mejia, freshman David Stiles, Hakim and Snead took 17th in the 4×100 (41.95).

With a majority of the roster returning next season, Wenneborg feels that next year’s Aztec team can take his program to the next level.

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Women’s team takes second at regionals

Compiled from PCC press releases

The Pima Community College women’s track and field team claimed second place for the second straight year at the Region I Championships at Mesa Community College on May 8.

The women’s team beat out Mesa Community College in the last event of the day, the 4×400 relay, to finish with a team score of 156.

Mesa took third place with 155. Central Arizona College captured first place with a team score of 281.

PCC’s men’s team finished in third place with a team score of 144. Central Arizona took first place and Mesa finished second.

The Aztecs claimed five individual region championships, including four on the final day.

Freshman Anfernee Alexander won in the discus with a winning throw of 148 feet, 6 inches.

Sophomore Alfonso Mejia won the 400-meter hurdles race, taking the lead after the final hurdle. He finished with an improved qualifying and personal best time of 53.16 seconds.

Sophomore Nikki Regalado won the 1,500-meter race with an improved national qualifying and a personal best time of 4 minutes, 48.02 seconds.

Freshman Raelene Yocupicio claimed the 800-meter race region championship and set a qualifying and a personal best time of 2:20.85.

On May 6, sophomore Brianna Rodriguez won the region title in the long jump.

In other events, freshman Anthony Spendlove took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal best time of 10:24.80.

The 4×100 relay team of Mejia and freshmen David Stiles, Darrius Morris and Kevin Snead set a national qualifying mark with a time of 41.70.

Freshman Cruz Rodriguez set a national qualifying mark and a personal best in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:54.71.

Sophomores Marlee Sherwood and Becca Harris took second and third respectively in the triple jump.

Sophomore Deante Gaines finished second in the triple jump.

Regalado took second in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:55.93.

To see complete results, visit: http://wingfootfinish.com/live/index.htm.

The Aztecs will have more than 20 athletes competing at the national championships on May 15-17 at Mesa Community College. Competition begins each day at 3 p.m.

Athletes on the women's track and field team gather with their second-place trophy. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Athletes on the women’s track and field team gather with their second-place trophy. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

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TENNIS: Men’s team finishes 26th at nationals

TENNIS: Men’s team finishes 26th at nationals

BY ZACH ARMENTA

The Pima Community College men’s tennis team finished 26th of 27 teams at the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s National Tennis Championships in Plano, Texas.

“I would say the season was a success on multiple levels,” head coach Brian Ramirez said. “We advanced to the national championships, everyone has done well in school, players have shown consistent improvement over the course of the season with their skills and their understanding of how to compete, and we finished second in our region.”

Freshman Richie Foitik advanced to the finals, falling 8-1 in the No. 2 singles consolation bracket to Jonah Jakubec from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Georgia).

Foitik lost 2-6, 4-6 in the round of 32 but advanced to the quarterfinals with byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket. He reached the semifinals by winning a tough match 9-8. Foitik was untouchable in the semis, coasting into the finals with an 8-0 win.

No. 1 singles sophomore Brian Soto faced the No. 6 seed in the round of 32. He lost 1-6, 0-6, dropping him into the consolation bracket. His season ended in the first round with a 0-8 loss.

Soto paired with Foitik at No. 1 doubles. The pair was overpowered, losing 2-6, 0-6. They received byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket, sending them straight to the quarterfinals. The pair fought hard but saw their season end with a 6-8 loss.

No. 3 singles freshman Josh Henkel lost 1-6, 1-6 in the round of 32, dropping him into the consolation bracket. Henkel got a bye in the first and seconds. He fell 1-8 in the quarterfinals, ending his singles season.

Henkel paired with sophomore Carlos Medina at No. 2 doubles. In the round of 32, the two lost 1-6, 4-6. Henkel and Medina received byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket. In the quarterfinals, the duo lost 4-8.

No. 4 singles Medina was dominated 0-6, 1-6 in the round of 32. He received a first-round bye in the consolation bracket. In the second round, Medina was shut out 0-8, ending his singles season.

No. 5 singles freshman Gabe Ortiz was shut out in the round of the 32, losing 0-6, 0-6. Ortiz had byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket. He lost 2-8 in the quarterfinals.

No. 6 singles freshman Aldo Amaya fought a tough match but fell 2-6, 7-6, 1-6 in the round of 32. Amaya also received byes in the first and second rounds in the consolation bracket. He struggled in the consolation quarterfinals, losing 1-8.

Amaya paired with freshman Trey Terry at No. 3 doubles. They enjoyed a bye in the round of 32, sending them to the round of 16. They lost 1-6, 1-6, dropping them into the consolation bracket.

After losing their first match, Amaya and Terry fell into the second round of the consolation bracket. They were shut out 0-8, finishing their season.

“Nationals was a lifetime experience,” Amaya said. “Having the chance to play against the best players of the nation just makes me want to work even harder and do a better job next year.”

The Aztecs finished 5-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Their only losses came against Mesa Community College.

PCC will lose two sophomores, Soto and Medina.

“You always miss players for one reason or another,” Ramirez said. “This group is unusually funny all the time.  I will certainly miss the one-liners, the constant humor in the van and two guys who always give their best effort on the court.”

Soto played No. 1 singles and doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 14 wins and 12 loses. He was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No.1 singles and No.1 doubles.

Medina played No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 13 wins and 13 loses. Medina was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 4 singles.

Of PCC’s five freshmen, Foitik and Amaya confirmed they will return for one more year.

Freshman Richie Foitik hits a forehand during warmups at the Region 1 tournament.  (Aztec Press photo by Zach Armenta)

Freshman Richie Foitik hits a forehand during warmups at the Region 1 tournament. (Aztec Press photo by Zach Armenta)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I will be returning to the team,” Foitik said. “No plans on switching any time soon.”

Foitik played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 18 wins and 13 loses. Foitik was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.

Henkel played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles. He had an up-and-down first year at Pima, finishing with an overall record of 12 wins and 16 loses.

Ortiz played No. 5 singles, and played No. 3 doubles at the start. He finished the season with an overall record of 12 wins and seven loses. Ortiz was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 5 singles.

Amaya played No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 15 wins and 11 loses. Amaya was also awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles.

Terry played No. 3 doubles with Amaya. He finished with an overall record of eight wins and seven loses. Terry was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference in No. 3 doubles.

For complete results of the NJCAA National Tournament, visit: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=151168

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Women finish in 17th place at nationals

BY ZACH ARMENTA

The Pima Community College women’s tennis team tied for 17th place at the NJCAA National Tournament in Tyler, Texas, May 3-9.

Sophomores Amy Beeston and Cayla Cordova were named Second Team All- Conference for doubles, and Beeston was named Second Team All- Conference for singles.

Beeston also won the Arthur Ashe Sportsman/Leadership Award for Region 2, which includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

“This team is my most improved team that I’ve ever coached,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said. “They stepped up at the end of the season when it mattered most.”

In the round of 32, No. 1 singles Beeston took on the two seed in a one-sided match that she lost 2-6, 1-6.

Beeston bounced back with an 8-1 win in the consolation bracket, and received a bye to the quarterfinals. With a shot at the semifinals, Beeston fought hard but lost 6-8.

No. 1 doubles Beeston and Cordova battled at the start but fell 4-6, 1-6.

They received a bye in the first and second round of the consolation bracket, sending them to the quarterfinals. An 8-3 win booked them a spot in the semifinals, but their run ended in the semis when they lost 4-8.

At No. 2 singles, Cordova routed her opponent 6-1, 6-0 in the first round. In the round of 16, Cordova battled the No. 1 seed and lost 0-6, 1-6.

No. 3 singles sophomore Helena Meyer struggled but fought back before losing 1-6, 6-7 in the round of 32.

She reached the quarterfinals in the consolation bracket by getting a first and second round bye. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals, losing 0-8.

Meyer paired with freshman Cassidy McWhorter at No. 2 doubles. They won 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the first round. Facing the No. 4 seed in the round of 16 proved too much for the duo, as they lost 0-6, 1-6.

No. 4 singles sophomore Ashten Watts struggled in the round of 32, losing 0-6, 4-6.

Watts won 8-2 in the consolation bracket, giving her a second-round bye straight to the quarterfinals. She won 8-0, but her season ended in the semifinals with a 2-8 loss.

No. 5 singles McWhorter won 6-7, 7-6, 6-1 in the round of 32. Facing the No. 1 seed in the round of 16, she lost 0-6, 0-6.

No. 6 singles freshman Yani Alameda received a first-round bye. In the round of 16, Alameda battled for three sets to win 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

As the only PCC player left in the winner’s bracket, Alameda faced the No. 1 seed and lost 0-6, 0-6.

No. 3 doubles Watts and Alameda won 6-3, 6-0 in the round of 32. In the round of 16, they battled the No. 2 seed and lost 0-6, 0-6.

“Nationals was fun and I did better than I thought,” Watts said. “I think the girls did awesome.”

From left, women’s tennis team players Ema Hernandez, Cayla Cordova, Amy Beeston, Ashten Watts, Katlyn Jones, Cassidy McWhorter and Yani Alameda. Not pictured: Helena Meyer. (Aztec Press photo by Zach Armenta)

From left, women’s tennis team players Ema Hernandez, Cayla Cordova, Amy Beeston, Ashten Watts, Katlyn Jones, Cassidy McWhorter and Yani Alameda. Not pictured: Helena Meyer. (Aztec Press photo by Zach Armenta)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Aztecs ended their 2013-14 season in third place in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference behind Mesa Community College and Eastern Arizona College. They finished 6-5 overall and 4-4 in conference.

The team will lose four sophomores: Beeston, Cordova, Meyer and Watts.

“Sophomores are all great leaders and I will miss each one for bringing something different to the team dynamic,” Schantz said. “I always wish my sophomores could play another two years, to continue to watch them grow as athletes and as people.”

Sophomore Amy Beeston received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Sportsman/Leadership award for Region 2. (Aztec Press photo by Zach Armenta)

Sophomore Amy Beeston received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Sportsman/Leadership award for Region 2. (Aztec Press photo by Zach Armenta)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beeston played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles with Cordova. She finished her season with an overall record of 19 wins and 16 loses.

Cordova played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. She finished with 18 wins and 16 loses.

Meyer played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles with McWhorter, amassing 17 wins and 16 loses.

Watts started at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles with Alameda. She won 22 matches and lost 13 matches.

PCC had four freshmen: Alameda, McWhorter, Ema Hernandez and Katlyn Jones. There is no word whether all four will return.

Alameda started at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. She rode a seven-game singles winning streak to finish the season with 22 wins and 10 losses.

McWhorter played No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles. She finished with 14 wins and 16 loses.

Hernandez and Jones saw very little playing time, but made the most of it. Hernandez finished the year with two wins and one loss. Jones finished undefeated with four wins, including one win at No. 5 singles against Paradise Valley Community College.

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ATHLETIC VOICE: If I can sport, you can sport too

ATHLETIC VOICE: If I can sport, you can sport too

By JAMIE VERWYS

I’m not a girl who likes things forcefully thrown at my face, so I have always stayed far from the sidelines when it comes to sports.

The closest I get to the field or court is a blank-eyed glance at a game on someone’s television.

I do admire athleticism despite not understanding it, and find myself intrigued.

Whether you’re curious like me or just trying to study for a Super Bowl party, don’t be intimidated by giving sports a try.

I will give you a cheat sheet to sports principles.

You have to start with the basics, namely balls.

Balls are at the heart of almost every game in sports.

Two teams of athletes face off on a playing field of some sort, often an oversized grass lawn or shiny indoor court.

The object is to get the ball into a goal on the other team’s side of the grass, or ice if it’s hockey.

Remember, if they are playing on ice you are watching hockey.

Running, kicking, throwing or hitting your way to the other side seems easy enough but, like the game’s rule-keeper umpire, I call a penalty.

There are tons of rules and foreign terminologies.

With all the numbers on jerseys and on the field itself, the whole thing looks like a math problem.

Unlike most languages, you can be totally illiterate in sports and still manage to converse in it with confidence.

Most games give you the whole dictionary in their title.

Simply look at the prefixes and suffixes, and you have the playbook.

You can get every piece of information you need to understand how a game is played just by knowing what it’s called.

For example, in baseball we have the ball (which the game orbits around) and bases. So they need to get players on the bases.

In tennis, 10 is clearly a number with some kind of significance.

Using the same logic, you can decode any lingo.

A home run is when a player did so well he wants to run home and tell everybody.

To speak sports, just say two words that describe what someone’s doing.

People will give you high-fives when you chime in, “Now that was one hell of a tackle ball!”

In the end, you’ll easily recognize the winner and loser by the cheers or tears of the players and fans.

A University of Arizona men’s basketball game seems a little harder to judge, however.

A riot apparently just means the game is over.

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TENNIS: Teams competing at nationals

TENNIS: Teams competing at nationals

By ZACH AMENTA

Pima Community College men’s and women’s tennis teams booked tickets to the NJCAA national tournament after competing in the Region 1 tournament in Glendale April 22-23.

 

Women’s team in Texas

 

The women traveled to Tyler, Texas, to compete May 3-9 at the NJCAA Nationals Tournament.

Sophomore Amy Beeston was awarded the Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship/Leadership award for Region 2, which includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The award was announced May 3 at a national tournament banquet.

“This is the most respected Intercollegiate Tennis Association award for players and I’m very proud of Amy for representing Pima with class and sportsmanship,” Pima coach Gretchen Schantz said.

At the regional tournament, the PCC women’s team had six byes.

Beeston enjoyed byes in No. 1 singles and at No. 1 doubles with partner sophomore Cayla Cordova. Beeston lost in the semifinals in both singles and doubles.

No. 2 singles Cordova destroyed Paradise Valley’s No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-0 but fell against Eastern Arizona’s No. 2 singles 1-6, 0-6.

No. 3 singles sophomore Helena Meyer had a first-round bye in singles. She beat Mesa in the semifinals 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. She lost the next day in the finals to Eastern Arizona 0-6, 1-6.

Meyer won in the opening round of No. 2 doubles along with freshman Cassidy McWhorter and then lost in the semifinals.

No. 4 singles sophomore Ashten Watts won her first singles match 6-0, 6-0 and then beat Eastern Arizona in the semifinals 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, moving her into the finals. Watts lost in the finals 1-6, 3-6 to Mesa.

Watts enjoyed a first round bye at No. 3 doubles with partner freshman Yani Alameda.

No. 5 singles McWhorter had a first-round bye in singles and then lost 1-6, 1-6 to Eastern Arizona.

No. 6 singles Alameda had a first-round bye in singles and then beat Eastern Arizona in singles 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Alameda battled for three hours and 15 minutes in the finals but lost 1-6, 6-4, 3-6 to Mesa. In the semifinals at No. 3 doubles, she again lost to Mesa after a two hour and four minute battle, losing 6-7, 4-6.

“It had ups and downs but overall we played well,” Watts said. “I think everyone is proud of how they played, no matter what.”

 

Men compete May 17-23

 

The men’s team finished as runners up to Mesa at the regional tournament. They will travel to Plano, Texas, May 17-23 to compete in the NJCAA Nationals Tournament.

At regionals, PCC’s men’s team took on Glendale in just about every match on the first day and then Mesa on the second day.

No. 1 singles Brian Soto beat Paradise Valley 6-4, 6-2. He also won at No. 1 doubles with partner freshman Richie Foitik 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 against Glendale.

Soto lost in the finals in singles against Mesa 0-6, 3-6 and then lost in the doubles final 4-6, 2-6.

No. 2 singles Foitik took on Glendale as well and coasted 6-2, 6-4. He lost a tough match against Mesa in the singles finals 1-6, 3-6.

No. 3 singles freshman Josh Henkel beat Glendale 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. Glendale got some revenge against Henkel as they beat him and his partner sophomore Carlos Medina at No. 2 doubles 4-6, 4-6. Henkel lost in the singles final to Mesa 0-6, 2-6.

No. 4 singles Medina also took on Glendale as he posted the best singles score for PCC at 6-0, 6-1. He lost against Mesa in the singles final 0-6, 0-6.

Freshman Gabe Ortiz played at No. 5 singles against Glendale’s No. 5 singles in another long three set match. Ortiz fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 despite having a lead in the third set.

No. 6 singles freshman Aldo Amaya took on Glendale and won 6-1, 6-2. Amaya was shut out in the singles final 0-6, 0-6.

Freshman Trey Terry paired up with Amaya at No. 3 doubles and they beat Glendale 6-1, 6-3. They then lost in the finals to Mesa 0-6, 0-6.

“Regionals was a lot of fun and I think that our team did the best we could,” Soto said.

Five players were awarded second team all-conference: Henkel, Medina, Amaya, Foitik and Soto.

Pg13-Tennis team

From left, assistant coach Josh Sandman, freshman Gabe Ortiz, freshman Aldo Amaya, freshman Trey Terry, freshman Josh Henkal, sophomore Brian Soto, freshman Richie Foitik, sophomore Carlos Medina, and head coach Brian Ramirez pose with their runner-up trophy from NJCAA Region 1 tournament in Glendale. (Zach Armenta/Aztec Press)

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BASEBALL: Season ends at regional playoffs

BASEBALL: Season ends at regional playoffs

By JOSE SANTIAGO III

The Pima Community College baseball team’s season ended May 3 after a 7-2 loss to No. 2 seed South Mountain Community College in the third game of the first round in the regional playoffs.

The Aztecs quickly fell behind 3-0. They cut the score in the sixth to 3-2 after a two-run single by freshman Jesse Robles. The Aztecs couldn’t complete the comeback, however, and their season came to a close.

“It was unfortunate that the season had to end earlier than we expected,” sophomore Cole Plouck said.

“However, I’m proud of the way that the entire team continued to grind until the end, he added.”

Plouck was named a Second Team All-ACCAC pitcher.

The Aztecs tied the series in the second game on May 2 with an 8-4 win. The Aztecs went up 3-0 with three runs in the third but the lead quickly evaporated and they were down 4-3 in the fourth.

Sophomore Juan Gamez tied it up in the sixth with an RBI double to score sophomore Jorge Maldonado Jr. The Aztecs scored four runs in the ninth to seal the victory.

Sophomore Kellen Marruffo went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Marruffo was named to the ACCAC First-Team.

The Aztecs dropped the first game of the series 8-2 on May 1.

A throwing error with the bases loaded in the first inning let in three runs early and the Aztecs couldn’t bounce back. Plouck took the loss despite giving up just one earned run in five and one-third innings.

The Aztecs split their doubleheader on April 26 against South Mountain Community College to secure the No. 3 seed for the regional playoffs.

Pima dropped the first game 18-2. Plouck took the loss, going three and two-thirds innings while giving up six runs, two earned. Freshman Trey Stine went 1 for 2 with an RBI.

The Aztecs won the second game 16-1.

Freshman Marcel Renteria pitched a complete game. He had six strikeouts and gave up one run in seven innings.

Sophomore James Lynch went 3 for 5 at the plate, hitting three RBIs and scoring three runs.

Pima lost 3-1 in a single game on April 24 to Eastern Arizona College.

The Aztecs couldn’t muster any offense and managed just two hits.

Sophomore Ethan Rosebeck took the loss, going five innings of relief.

Pg14-Baseball-Devon Carrillo

Sophomore Devon Carillo rounds third base in Pima’s game vs Arizona Western College on April 22. (Nellie Silva/Aztec Press)

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Wheelchair athlete thrives in competitive basketball

Wheelchair athlete thrives in competitive basketball

By SHAQ DAVIS

Pima Community College student Jose Maravilla was born with arthrogryposis, a rare disability characterized by stiff joints and abnormally developed muscles.

Although he uses a wheelchair, Maravilla hasn’t let his condition stop him from enjoying the game of basketball.

Maravilla, 21, grew up in Long Beach, California, and discovered basketball when he was 8.

“It was good because I got into sports really young, and I’ve been playing wheelchair basketball since then,” he said.

Basketball has provided him with opportunities to travel across the country, including Chicago, Texas, Washington, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and California.

Of all the places he has visited, Philadelphia stands out.

“If it wasn’t for basketball, I probably would have never been near there,” Maravilla said. “I got to meet the Philadelphia Eagles and Donovan McNabb.”

He also seized the chance to appear on the Disney channel show, “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

Maravilla currently plays shooting guard for the University of Arizona Adaptive Athletics basketball team, competing nationally.

Teammate Jose Adriano applauds Maravilla’s character on the court.

“He is very vocal, shows great leadership and is very good at the defensive end,” Adriano said.

The wheelchair league classifies players to level the competition, using range of mobility as one gauge. Players also need medical clearance to compete.

The top 16 teams compete in a national tournament.

“It’s sort of our March Madness, you play until you lose,” Maravilla said.

This year the championship was held in Kentucky. The UA team finished in seventh place, three spots off its fourth-place finish in 2013.

Maravilla hopes the team will play better and progress deeper into the national tournament next year, and maybe even go undefeated.

His training includes weight lifting, shooting drills and conditioning exercises.

He said the upper body is the focus in the weight room and is extremely important on the court.

One of the hardest drills is pushing up difficult inclines.

“Our coach makes us go up steep hills,” Maravilla said. “It’s hot and if you let go of the wheel you’re going to go all the way to the bottom.”

Maravilla feels fortunate that he has not faced harsh discrimination and lives in a nation that is wheelchair accessible.

“We have acts and laws here that people need to respect so we don’t get discriminated against,” he said.

Basketball offers Maravilla a chance to escape the pressures of everyday life.

“It’s where I find peace, my sanctuary; I can get away from everything,” he said. “All that matters is the ball at that moment.”

Pg16-Jose Maravilla profile

In addition to attending Pima Community College, Jose Maravilla plays wheelchair basketball with the University of Arizona. (Shaq Davis/Aztec Press)

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TRACK AND FIELD: Nationals await May 15-17

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track team made big strides in the second day of the Region I track championships in Mesa on May 6.

The final day of competition took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.

Results will be posted at aztecpressonline.com as they become available.

Pima returns to Mesa May 15-17 for the NJCAA national outdoor championships.

 

Women take five-point lead

After two days at regionals, the women’s team had a five-point lead in the overall standings.

Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jump of 18-7. Freshman Vanessa Fox took second place with a jump of 17-7.

Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim took second place in the high jump with a jump of 5-5 1/4.

The relay team of sophomore Nikki Regalado and freshmen Raelene Yocupicio, Shanice Alchesay and Col’Bi Nez set a national qualifying mark with their second-place finish in the 4×800 relay with a time of 9 minutes, 50.6 seconds.

On April 26, the Aztec women set national qualifying marks in their final meet of the regular season at the University of California Triton Invitational in San Diego.

Pima was led by Regalado and sophomore Kathy Fisher.

Regalado set a new national qualifying time and school record in the 5,000-meters with a time of 17:30.58, destroying her old record of 18:26.90.

Fisher set a new personal best in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:03.06. She finished in third place.

Alchesay set a national qualifying time and new personal record in the 5,000 race with a time of 19:25.59.

 

Men sitting in second place

The men’s team was in second place with one day left in the regional championships.

They were down by three points and still had heavy hitters left to compete.

Sophomores Khalill Hakim and Eddie Wilcox tied for second place in the long jump with jumps of 6-8.

Freshman Luke Ross took fourth place in the high jump with a jump of 6-4.

At the Triton Invitational on April 26, freshman Anthony Spendlove set a national qualifying mark in the 5,000 with a time of 15:42.96.

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GOLF: Men take third place at regionals

By NICK MEYERS

Pima Community College’s men’s golf team landed on the green with a third-place finish at the Division 1 regional tournament in Phoenix April 24-27.

The Aztecs took an early lead in the first round, with sophomore David Chung sitting at the No. 1 spot in individual rankings hitting par with a score of 71.

Freshman Gabe Borboa and sophomore Anthony Moncada followed in fifth and sixth place with scores of 73 and 74.

Chung maintained second place by the end of day two, shooting a 75 for the 70-par course, but dropped to sixth following a rough round of 85. He finished the tournament in fifth place after shooting another 75 for a total of 306, earning him a spot on the All-Region team.

Borboa nearly mimicked Chung with a final score of 308, which earned him a tie for eighth place but lost in the contest for the All-Region spot. He shot a 73, two-over par, on his best day.

Moncada ended the tournament with 311 points.

Sophomore Tyler Cooper finished with 316 points and a four-over par on his second day with 75 points. Freshman Ben Bradford totaled 317 points with a 75 on his last day.

The Aztecs totaled 304 points in the final round in contrast to 310 and 323 on days two and three and 294 in the opening round.

“The kids played better today,” coach Clark Rustand said on the last day of play. “But, it wasn’t enough to dig ourselves out of the hole we dug the previous two days.”

Moncada was named Second Team All-Conference on April 27 after averaging 73 points per round during the regular season.

The men’s team will compete in the NCJAA National Championships in Burlington, Iowa, on May 14-17.

The women’s team closed out the regular season with a second-place finish on April 22 in the South Mountain Community College Invitational. They will compete in the NJCAA tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 12-15.

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SOFTBALL: Pima drops EAC doubleheader

SOFTBALL: Pima drops EAC doubleheader

By BETO HOYOS

Pima Community College’s softball team took on Eastern Arizona College on April 22 and dropped the doubleheader.

The Aztecs dropped the first game 5-2 after Eastern took a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

In the fourth inning, Pima got on the board with a solo shot from sophomore Danielle Stensby.

Stensby finished the game 2 for 4 with an RBI and freshman Alexis Dotson was also 2 for 4 with a run scored.

The second game saw no rally for the Aztecs as they fell to Eastern 9-5.

In the fifth inning, the Aztecs found themselves down 4-0 before putting up three runs with the help of Dotson’s RBI single.

Freshman Taylor Fabing hit an RBI single in the sixth and sophomore Stacey Ramirez hit an RBI double in the seventh, but the rally ultimately fell short.

Dotson and Ramirez both finished 1 for 3 with an RBI.

On April 19, the Aztecs dropped a tough doubleheader on the road when they took on Central Arizona College.

In the first game, the Aztecs were shut out 8-0 in six innings.

“It seems like there’s always one piece missing,” sophomore Victoria Mariscal said. “Timely hitting is what we call it,” she added.

Freshman Celina Martinez pitched five and one third innings in relief. Martinez allowed three runs on seven hits and picked up one strikeout.

Mariscal and sophomore Stacey Ramirez both went 1 for 2.

The second game was also tough for the Aztecs, as they lost 10-2 in five innings.

Freshman Briana Urquidez took the loss and freshman Brianna Quiroz pitched one inning in relief and gave up six runs.

Central Arizona scored four runs in the first inning then five runs in the second inning. The Aztecs scored their two runs in the third inning.

Freshman Paige Castro hit an RBI single to score sophomore Valerie Luera.

The Aztecs took on Paradise Valley Community College on April 13 and split the doubleheader.

In the first game, the Aztecs were not all there defensively, committing three errors on the way to the 7-5 loss.

“If we wouldn’t have had that inning with all the errors we would’ve won,” Mariscal said.

Heading into the fifth inning, the Aztecs held a 2-0 lead.

“If our hitting is great our defense is off, and if our defense is on our hitting is off,” Mariscal said. “We just got to pull it all together and we’ll be unstoppable.”

The Aztecs came back focused in the second game to pick up a 9-1 win.

In the first inning, the Aztecs got down to business and quickly scored three runs.

“We have a great hitting team but we can never seem to all hit at the same time,” Mariscal said.

Fabing had a good game as she had an RBI double in the fifth inning and a two-run RBI single in the sixth.

Mariscal was 3 for 4 with three runs scored.

Sophomore Stephanie Vejar was named ACCAC Division I Pitcher of the Week April 9-14. She tallied 2 wins, 1 save and a strikeout in 9 innings of work,

Pg15-Softball-Victoria Mariscal

Sophomore Victoria Mariscal Slams a hit during March 20 home game.
(Nellie Silva/ Aztec Press)

 

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