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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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VOLLEYBALL: Season comes to an end

VOLLEYBALL: Season comes to an end

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College volleyball team’s season came to an end after losing to Scottsdale Community College in the elimination match of the region I, division II tournament.

This was the second straight year the Aztecs made the tournament.

The Aztecs struggled early in the first set and would find themselves down by as much as 11 points.

In the second set the Aztecs would keep it close. The Aztecs fought back and cut Scottsdale’s lead to 22-20 after a kill by Kristen Hains and an Alexis Ammerman block. That would be as close as the Aztecs would come.

In the third set the Aztecs would hold a slim 16-11 lead after Kassidy Crawford and Andrea Burnett both contributed kills and Ammerman contributed an ace. Midway through the third set Scottsdale called a timeout and came back to chip away at the Aztecs lead. After gaining a 19-18 advantage, Scottsdale would score three more times to take the match.

Ammerman finished the game with eight kills and three blocks, and Liz Mata finished with 21 assists.

Positive player reaction can be hard to come by after a season ending loss, but after trying to reach players via Facebook the only reaction I could get was from Nykole Adun when simply said “we’re misery”.

In the opening match of the region I, division II tournament the Pima Community College volleyball team lost to No. 1 seed Glendale Community College in three sets.

The Aztecs would have small leads throughout the match, but Glendale would prove to be too much to handle. Hope Redhawk would help give the Aztecs an early lead with two kills. Later in the set Kassidy Crawford had an ace to put the Aztecs on top again with a 7-5 lead. Later in the first set Glendale would score six straight points to take the first set.

In the second set Redhawk had two straight kills to give the Aztecs a 8-7 lead. Later in the set, Glendale would earn four straight points to take a 21-16 lead. Glendale would lead by only two after kills by Katie Rudolphi and Crawford.

After leading by two points on five separate occasions Glendale would take the lead down the stretch. After being down by two Rudolphi had a kill and Rachel Garcia had an ace to tie it up. After being tied one more time, Glendale would take the final two points of the match.

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VOLLEYBALL: Pima fighting for final playoff spot

VOLLEYBALL: Pima fighting for final playoff spot

By BETO HOYOS 

The Pima Community College volleyball team is seeking the final spot in the Region I, Division II playoffs as the Aztecs head into their last game of the regular season at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Nov. 1.

Pima beat Chandler-Gilbert in four sets earlier this month at the West Campus.

On Oct. 25, the Aztecs (14-13, 5-10 in conference) lost in three sets against Glendale Community College. 

Sophomore libero Courtney Pitts finished with 15 digs. Freshman Kassidy Crawford had seven kills and sophomore Hope Redhawk contributed four blocks.

In their regular-season home finale on Oct. 23, the Aztecs lost 3-1 against Mesa Community College. The Aztecs came out strong in the first set, but dropped the next three.

After the game, sophomores Courtney Pitts, Katie Rudolphi, Redhawk, Rachel Garcia and Noelle Olson were recognized.

The Aztecs came out firing on all cylinders Oct. 18 at home against Yavapai College. After dropping the first set, they rallied to win the next three.

“I think we’ve all finally bonded to the point where it all clicked,” freshman Kristen Hains said.

Communication among teammates was apparent from the start.

“Our coach always tells us to communicate, communicate, communicate, so that’s all we’ve been doing at practice,” Hains said.

Players including Hains and fellow freshman Alexis Ammerman could be heard directing their teammates all game.

On Oct. 16, Pima lost in three sets to Arizona Western College in Yuma. AWC was ranked 13th in the NJCAA Division I standings.

Pitts was recognized by the ACCAC as the Division II Player of the Week for Oct. 14-20. She had 47 digs and six assists in the games against AWC and Yavapai College.

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Freshman Nykole Adun serves the ball. (Aztec Press photo by Nellie Silva)

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Team splits four October matches

Team splits four October matches

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College volleyball team started October with two victories, but fell short in its next two matches.

The team was scheduled to play No. 11 Arizona Western College in Yuma on Oct. 16. The match took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.

On Oct. 11, the Aztecs (13-10, 4-7 in conference) lost to No. 13 Scottsdale Community College in three sets.

On Oct. 9, the Aztecs fell short of a comeback against Phoenix College, losing in four hard-fought sets.

The first two matches went to Phoenix, but Pima stormed back in the third set to earn a 2-point win.

The fourth set was too much for the Aztecs to handle and the lead stayed with Phoenix for the remainder of the set.

The two schools split the season series at two matches apiece.

On Oct. 4, the Aztecs swept their season series against South Mountain Community College.

The Aztecs came out firing on all cylinders early.

With a 15-14 lead in the first set, the Aztecs pulled away with help from three freshmen: a kill by Kristen Hains, an ace by Alexis Ammerman’s and a block point by Andrea Burnett.

In the second set, the Aztecs came out attacking. Freshman Nykole Adun totaled five aces, including three straight.

“I was expecting to carry a light load but I was just so pumped to play with my team,” Adun said.

Adun credited her good game to her helpful teammates for staying focused and being supportive all game long.

“We are not only friends on the court but off it too,” she said.

The Aztecs never trailed in the third set. South Mountain came within four points, but Adun helped extend the lead to 20-10 with two kills.

“We’re a good squad and we can’t wait to go to regionals,” Adun said.

Adun finished with seven kills and five aces. Freshman Kassidy Crawford pitched in seven kills and Ammerman had six kills and three aces.

Freshman Liz Mata had 22 assists while sophomore Courtney Pitts finished with 17 digs.

On Oct. 2, the Aztecs defeated Chandler-Gilbert Community College in four sets.

Crawford had a pair of kills in the first set to help boost the early lead. Ammerman’s ace put the match away.

Burnett contributed strong play and a kill to cushion the lead.

Ammerman and Crawford remained hot and came through with kills to secure the second set.

The Aztecs regrouped after dropping the third set and never trailed in the fourth.

Three players finished in double digits for kills.

Crawford led the way with 18 while Ammerman finished with 16 and Hains collected 14.

Mata finished with 41 assists, while Pitts collected 26 digs.

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VOLLEYBALL: Team battles through tough conference play

VOLLEYBALL: Team battles through tough conference play

By BETO HOYOS

 

The Aztecs (11-8, 2-5 in conference) fell to Mesa Community College on Sept. 27 in three hard-fought sets.

 

Down early in the first set, the Aztecs made a run that gave them a 14-10 lead. In that stretch, freshman Alexis Ammerman helped ignite a cold offense with three kills.

 

The second and third sets went back and forth, with the Aztecs holding small leads on multiple occasions.

 

The biggest lead for the Aztecs in the second set was 21-18 after sophomore Hope Redhawk’s kill. In the third set, sophomore Rachel Garcia had two aces to obtain a 17-15 lead. The final lead of the night came after a kill by freshman Vanessa Fox that put the Aztecs up 21-19.

 

Ammerman finished the game with 10 kills and freshman Nykole Adun had six kills and three blocks. Sophomore Noelle Olson had 18 assists, and sophomore libero Courtney Pitts had 21 digs.

 

On Sept. 25, the Aztecs lost to Central Arizona College in three sets, 25-22, 25-19, 25-21.

 

The Pima Community College volleyball team fell in the semifinals during a San Diego City College tournament Sept. 20-21.

 

In pool play, the Aztecs defeated three California schools. They took down Chaffey College and Cuayamaca College in two sets, then rallied to beat Taft College in three sets.

 

The Aztecs were triumphant in the quarterfinals against host San Diego City College but fell to a familiar foe, Scottsdale Community College, in the semifinals.

 

Pitts earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

 

On Sept. 19, the Aztecs dropped three sets to Scottsdale Community College at the West Campus gym. Scottsdale was the eighth-ranked team in the nation and played the part en route to a victory.

 

Ammermen, who left the court with eight kills and four blocks, said good communication is essential to winning.

 

“We need to improve at talking and communicating as a whole and just playing together,” Ammermen said.

 

Pitts continued her string of stellar play, tallying 13 digs and two aces. Pitts and Ammermen are the vocal leaders on the court for the Aztecs and can be heard directing plays and encouraging teammates.

 

“I get really aggressive, so I’m always talking,” Pitts said. “We’re both really competitive out there.”

 

The Aztecs played Chandler-Gilbert Community College Oct. 2 at home. Pima won the match in four sets, 25-17, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22. Check next issue of Aztec Press for a full recap.

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On Deck

 

Oct. 4: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9: @ Phoenix College, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11: @ Scottsdale CC, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16: @ Arizona Western College, Yuma, 7 p.m.

To see video of a Pima volleyball game, use this link:

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Pitts keeps the ball in her court

Pitts keeps the ball in her court

By BETO HOYOS

 

Sports have always been a passion for Pima Community College sophomore volleyball player Courtney Pitts.

 

Although she played other sports, her talents blossomed when she began playing volleyball in sixth grade.

 

At Tucson’s Catalina High School, she and her teammates made multiple state volleyball tournament appearances. Pitts was named TUSD player of the year her senior year.

 

Pitts rode the momentum of her accomplishments to PCC, and landed a spot on the Aztec volleyball team. Playing at the libero position, she has established herself as a dependable defensive specialist.

 

“As a libero, you have to be good at passing and at getting digs,” she explained.

 

During her first season at Pima, Pitts earned All-Conference honorable mention honors.

 

This year, head coach Dan Bithell is looking to Pitts for leadership.

 

“She’s taking this team in the right direction,” he said.

 

Although the Pima volleyball team does not designate captains, Pitts is happy to take the initiative.

 

“I’m not a captain but when there’s a captain’s meeting, I’m one of the ones to go,” she said with a slight smile.

 

Pitts believes in her team, but sees room for improvement in areas such as communication.

 

“We’re good, but we’re just not playing like a team,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll get better.”

 

Being a college athlete means juggling school work with a demanding practice and game schedule. Pitts enjoys spending down time with family and friends.

 

She also enjoys shopping and watching movies. “I like horror movies, comedies or whatever,” she said.

 

Pitts hasn’t decided on a major but is considering teaching or nursing.

 

“I’d like to teach little kids, like first or second grade,” she said.

 

The medical option might present a few obstacles. “I’m kind of squeamish, so that would make nursing kind of hard,” she said.

 

Pitts was an honor student at Catalina, and graduated in the top 25 of her class. She has also done well in all of her classes at Pima, though she enjoys some subjects more than others.

 

“I like writing and stuff, but I hate math,” she said.

 

Future goals include continuing to play volleyball at a Division 1 college and earning a bachelor’s degree.

 

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Courtney Pitts plays defense as a libero.

 

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Aztecs play strong at Scottsdale tournament

Aztecs play strong at Scottsdale tournament

By BETO HOYOS

With the volleyball season in full swing, the Pima Community College volleyball team has been riding a hot streak as of late.

The Aztecs spent two days away from home Sept. 13-14 for the Scottsdale Classic Tournament. The women had a strong showing, triumphing in three of their four games in Scottsdale.

On the second day of action, the Aztecs perfected a come-from-behind victory against a team from North Dakota, Williston State College.

The first two sets went to Williston State, but the Aztecs regained their composure to take three sets in a row and secure a victory.

The opening day of the tourney saw the Aztecs competing in three games and coming away with a double dose of victories.

Utah State University-Eastern was the first to fall to PCC after four sets.

The second victory came against Victoria College (Texas) in two sets, 25-12 and 25-11.

The lone setback for the Aztecs on Sept. 13 came from the Washington Bigfoots of Spokane Community College after four sets of play.

Pima volleyball’s annual Alumni Match took place Sept. 11 at West Campus. Former players from years past participated in the contest.

On Sept. 6, the women suffered a bitter home defeat against Glendale Community College after four narrow sets. The third set belonged to the Aztecs but by a slim margin as Glendale CC denied Pima’s lead to surpass three points.

Freshmen Kassidy Crawford and Alexis Ammerman each contributed points that would ultimately tie the match and to put the Aztecs ahead in their only winning set.

PCC came within two points in the final set, but the Vaqueros sealed the win after a five-point run.

Crawford led the Aztecs with a team-high 10 kills. Ammerman and fellow freshman Kristen Hains each tallied seven kills.

On Sept. 4, the Aztecs beat Phoenix College in a five-set nail-biter.

Pima snatched the first two sets after highlights plays like sophomore Noelle Olson’s ace and freshman Nykole Adun’s block, securing an early two-set lead.

The women dropped the following two sets to force a fifth game. The Aztecs composed themselves and came back in the fifth set to defeat the team that handed them a loss at last season’s regional tournament.

Hains had 19 kills in the victory while Liz Mata was an essential playmaker all game with 12 assists.

The women will see a familiar foe Sept. 19 when Scottsdale Community College steps into the West Campus gymnasium.

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Sophomore outside hitter Katie Rudolphi tips the ball over the net in an early season game.

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VOLLEYBALL: Pima’s bid for nationals ends

VOLLEYBALL: Pima’s bid for nationals ends

By CLYNISHA STEVENS

The Pima Community College volleyball team’s season ended on Nov. 2, as it fell to Scottsdale Community College in the Region 1 double-elimination tournament.

The loss left PCC’s final mark at 14-14.

“All in all, the season was more than we could have hoped for,” head coach Dan Bithell said. “We played really hard for each other, we improved throughout the whole season, and we had a really great atmosphere at our home matches.”

In the Scottsdale match, Pima lost by scores of 16-25, 25-17, 23-25, 17-25.

The Aztecs couldn’t recover after falling behind by 13 points early in the second set. Pima proved to be game, though, fighting back in the third set to win six straight points and take a 12-11 lead.

In the end it wasn’t enough, and the Aztecs saw their season come to a close.

“It was disappointing for it to end,” Bithell said. “We thought we were good enough to win some matches at the regional tournament and qualify for nationals.”

In their first game at regionals, the Aztecs fell to Phoenix College in straight sets, 19-25, 10-25, 22-25.

Sophomore Kami Humphrey finished the match with 18 assists and five digs, while freshman Courtney Pitts recorded 11 digs.

The Aztecs celebrated Sophomore Night at home on Oct. 26 by defeating South Mountain Community College in three sets, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20.

Humphrey led Pima with 33 assists, eight digs and four kills. Sophomore Cheryl Montague contributed nine kills, and sophomore Shaysea Alba had eight kills and two blocks.

All three were honored in a brief ceremony after the game, along with fellow sophomores Kaylee Rakowski, Julia Escarcega, Kendra Hall and Kalyn Humphrey.

On Oct. 24, PCC defeated Mesa Community College on the road, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20.

The Aztecs closed out the regular season on a three-match winning streak.

Two Pima players took all-ACCAC honors this year, as Humphrey and Pitts garnered honorable mention status. Humphrey was also named to the all-Region 1 squad.

Kami Humphrey elevated for the kill. Aztec Press photo by James Kelley.

 

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VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs end losing streak, look to regionals

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs end losing streak, look to regionals

By CLYNISHA STEVENS

The Pima Community College volleyball team ended a four-match losing streak on Oct. 19 with a four-set victory over Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

PCC dropped the first set, but came back to take control in the second. The Aztecs were able to hang on to take the third and fourth sets.

Sophomore Cheryl Montague finished with 18 kills to lead the Aztecs, while sophomore Kaylee Rakowski had 10 kills, four aces and two blocks.

“We’ve done a lot of good things,” Montague said. “I think the games that we have lost have just been by simple errors, but they are easy fixes.”

Sophomore Kami Humphrey contributed with 40 assists and fellow sophomore Courtney Pitts finished with 27 digs.

The Aztecs lost their third straight game Oct. 12, dropping three sets to Central Arizona College, 25-19, 25-17 and 25-16.

Montague finished with eight kills and Pitts had 14 digs.

On Oct. 10, PCC lost to then-No. 2 Glendale Community College at home. Glendale won in four sets by scores of 26-24, 25-18, 23-25 and 25-21.

The Aztecs trailed 15-8 in the first set and came back to tie it on a few occasions, but couldn’t grab the lead.

Pima had a lead in the second set, but fell and couldn’t catch up.

In the third set, Pima was tied 19-19 before breaking it open with four straight points to eventually take the set.

PCC cut Glendale’s lead to 16-14 in the fourth set, but the Aztecs did not end up with the win.

Montague led the team with 13 kills while sophomore Kendra Hall contributed 10 kills and four blocks.

Humphrey had 38 assists and two aces, while Pitts finished with 27 digs.

Head coach Dan Bithell thinks the team needs to limit its errors and pay close attention to defense and attacking.

ON DECK

Oct. 26:  South Mountain CC, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1-3:  NJCAA Region 1 playoffs, @ #1 seed, TBA

 

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VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs going the distance for wins

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs going the distance for wins

By CLYNISHA STEVENS

The Pima Community College volleyball team had its home-undefeated streak snapped on Oct. 5, falling in five sets to Phoenix College.

The squad now sits at 11-9 on the campaign, and has won nine of its last 11 matches.

The 17-25, 17-25, 25-18, 31-29, 8-15 loss marked the fourth straight match the Aztecs played five sets.

After dropping the first two sets, Pima rode a 6-0 run to victory in the third. The fourth set provided even more drama, as it took eight set-point opportunities between the two teams before PCC finally eked out a win.

The Aztecs ran out of gas in the final set, as the Bears took the decisive frame. Pima cut Phoenix’s lead to 6-5 at one point, but was able to get no closer.

On Sept. 28, Pima came out on the good side of a five-set match, going the distance to defeat Scottsdale Community College at home by scores of 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 13-25 and 15-12.

Sophomore Cheryl Montague led the team with 16 kills, fellow sophomores Julia Escarcega and Shaysea Alba had nine each. Alba also contributed four blocks and three aces.

Sophomore Kami Humphrey finished with 49 assists, six kills and four blocks, while freshman Courtney Pitts had 21 digs and two aces.

PCC downed Yavapai College at home on Sept. 26 by scores of 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25 and 21-19.

In the thrilling final set, there were seven match-point opportunities, with Pima having five. Alba drove home the final kill to seal the win for the Aztecs.

Humphrey finished with 47 assists and three blocks. Fellow sophomore Kendra Hall had 11 kills and five blocks, while Pitts tallied 24 digs and three aces.

For the third time in four weeks, an Aztec was named ACCAC Player of the Week, as Pitts took the honor for her play during the week of Sept. 24-30.

Pitts helped the Aztecs to a 2-1 record on the week after playing a total of 15 sets in three matches. She finished with 92 digs and four aces for the time period.

Humphrey and Montague had previously won the award.

The squad had a road game scheduled against Central Arizona College on Oct. 10, but the paper went to press before results were available.

The Aztecs will return to action on Oct. 17, as they take on Eastern Arizona College at West Campus at 7 p.m.

 

ON DECK

Oct. 12:  @ Central Arizona College, Coolidge, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17:  Eastern Arizona College, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19:  Chandler-Gilbert CC, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24:  @ Mesa CC, Mesa, 7 p.m.

Kami Humphrey elevated for the kill. Aztec Press photo by James Kelley.

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VOLLEYBALL: Pima serves up some home cooking

VOLLEYBALL: Pima serves up some home cooking

By CLYNISHA STEVENS

The Pima Community College volleyball team won its first two home matches of the season, and now stands with a record of 9-8.

Pima played at home against Yavapai College on Sept. 26, but the Aztec Press had gone to print before results were available.

Pima had its seven-game winning streak snapped by South Mountain Community College at home on Sept. 25.

PCC took the first two sets, but the Cougars stormed back to win the final three, along with the match.

The Aztecs had a successful trip to California on Sept. 21-22, going 4-1, including 3-1 at the San Diego City College Tournament.

Pima opened tournament play in the Golden State by defeating the host school in straight sets on Sept. 22. They also put away College of the Desert (Calif.) and Cerro Coso Community College (Calif.).

The Aztecs closed out the tourney by falling to South Mountain in a one-set match, 25-21.

The night before in San Diego, Pima controlled Cuyamaca College (Calif.) in three games, 25-25, 25-9, 25-7.

Sophomore Kendra Hall led the Aztecs with eight kills and four blocks and freshman Julia Escarcega finished with seven kills and three aces.

On Sept. 19, PCC also defeated Chandler-Gilbert Community College on the road in three sets, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21.

Sophomore Cheryl Montague finished the match with 10 kills and fellow sophomore Kami Humphrey had 29 assists. Freshman Courtney Pitts contributed with 17 digs.

On Sept. 14, Pima defeated Mesa Community College in three games, 25-19, 25-21, 25-10. Both teams kept it close in the first set, but PCC eventually pulled away.

Pima had a 24-17 lead in the second set, but Mesa scored four set points to close the gap to 24-21 before PCC got its final point. The third set belonged to the Aztecs, as they finished the match with 10 straight points.

Humphrey had 26 assists, four digs and three kills. Montague had 14 kills and two blocks.

Hall and sophomore Kaylee Rakowski each had four blocks, while Escarcega finished with four aces and two blocks.

Montague was named ACCAC player of the week on Sept. 17, marking the second week in a row that a Pima player received the award.

Pima swept West Coast Baptist College of Lancaster, Calif., 25-19, 25-20, 25-17 on Sept. 13.

Montague led the way with 14 kills for Pima, while Rakowski contributed nine kills and four blocks.

Sophomore Shaysea Alba also had five blocks. Humphrey had 28 assists and three aces, and Pitts had nine digs.

Pima was defeated in straight sets against Phoenix College on Sept. 12, falling 25-20, 25-13, 25-19. Humphrey had 25 assists, eight kills and three blocks. Pitts finished the match with 11 digs and one ace.

 

On Deck

 

Friday, Sept. 28:  Scottsdale CC, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 5:  Phoenix College, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 10:  Glendale CC, West Campus, 7 p.m.

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VOLLEYBALL: Team setting high goals for season

VOLLEYBALL: Team setting high goals for season

BY CLYNISHA STEVENS

The Pima Community College volleyball team has had a rough beginning, but sophomore setter Kami Humphrey believes better things are yet to come.

“I have a lot of confidence, because I feel like we’re a lot better skill-wise this year,” Humphrey said. “I think we will push through the tough times. We all like each other, and have really good team chemistry.”

Although the squad has encountered many obstacles in the young season, head coach Dan Bithell knows he has a great team that can go far.

“So far we’ve had a few matches and have had our ups and downs, but we have the potential to achieve great things,” he said. “The girls are talented enough to make it to the playoffs.”

Humphrey expanded on her coach’s thoughts.

“Making nationals is always the top goal,” said Humphrey, who was named the ACCAC player of the week on Sept. 3. “There are other goals, too, like working as a team the whole time, pushing through the small things, and just winning a lot of games.

“But our main goal is making nationals, so first we need to do the little things to get there.”

The team’s record was 2-6 before a scheduled Sept. 12 game at Phoenix College. The match took place after the Aztec Press went to print.

In the Scottsdale Classic Tournament on Sept. 7-8, Pima won two of its first three matches to start the weekend.

The Aztecs defeated the College of Eastern Utah 25-17, 21-25, 15-12 to begin the tourney’s first day. In its second match, Pima won the first game before ultimately falling to Yavapai College 26-24, 23-25, 10-15.

PCC closed the day out by defeating Mesa Community College 25-19, 25-23.

The squad then dropped two matches on the second day in Scottsdale, losing to Central Wyoming in two games, 13-25, 11-25, and falling to host Scottsdale Community College 22-25, 13-25.

On Sept. 5, Humphrey had 24 assists and contributed six digs, three aces and three kills in PCC’s loss at Glendale Community College.

Kaylee Rakoski led the team with six kills, and Courtney Pitts finished with 11 digs.

PCC also fell at Scottsdale in a three-game loss on Aug. 29.

Rakowski led Pima with six kills, while Noelle Olson had 13 assists. Pitts finished the match with eight digs and an ace.

The Aztecs were scheduled to play three matches in as many days, starting with the Sept. 12 match at Phoenix College.

Humphrey said the team looks forward to playing games wherever they may be, including in opposing gyms.

“I like going on the road; I think we all do,” she said. “It’s definitely a lot more fun playing at home, because you have all your fans, but away games are cool, too.”

Sophomore setter Kami Humphrey (No. 4) sets up teammates during a game against Pima alumni on Aug. 31. Aztec Press photo by Steve Choice.: AZ

On deck

Sept. 12: @ Phoenix College, Phoenix, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13: West Coast Baptist College, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14: Mesa Community College, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21: @ Cuyamaca College, San Diego, 5 p.m.

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Volleyball veteran in line for academic award

Volleyball veteran in line for academic award

 

 

By AMY ZAMBRANO

 

Year after year, many athletes want to join Pima Community College teams. Only those willing to leave their hearts on the court make it.

Czarina Schutt, 19, is one athlete who made a name for herself on the PCC volleyball team. Her coach, Dan Bithell, named her team captain this season because of her experience and leadership skills.

In addition to making a good impression on the court, she has proven to be a very intellectual athlete. She is in line to receive a prestigious academic award, the Academic All-American awarded by the National Junior College Athlete Association.

This season was Schutt’s last with the team. She feels she made it worth it, as she improved on her leadership skills and improved as a team player.

“As a team we have improved a lot,” she said. “Looking at us from the beginning, we are a different team now.”

The PCC volleyball team struggled to win matches but it didn’t keep Schutt from giving her best effort. She pushed the team hard and encouraged her teammates to do better every day.

Czarina has been a key player for the team, Bithell said. There were times she was doing the work of three people on the court.

She showed high potential, gave direction to the team and built a good road for the younger players, Bithell said.

Schutt said she had fun, enjoying good chemistry with her teammates and making many friends.

For pre-game preparation, she ate a healthy meal— usually salads— to help her feel light during the game. Though she has little free time, she enjoys going out to eat sushi.

Schutt must keep up her grades to be eligible for the academic award, and wait until the end of the semester for her grades to be posted. Until then, she’s working hard, especially at science.

Her plans are to finish her science classes at Pima, then leave Tucson for a college in California to study pharmacy.

Bithell said she set a legacy.

“Hopefully her hard work this season pays off, and her leadership will move on to next year,” he said.

Czarina Schutt is in the running for the Academic All-American award.

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Season ends with losses

Season ends with losses

 

By AMY ZAMBRANO

 

The Pima Community College volleyball team concluded the season with losses against Mesa and South Mountain community colleges.

The (3-21-0 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) Aztecs hoped to finish their season strong but instead came home empty-handed.

The team had an 11-game losing streak, then three wins at a San Diego tournament, followed by a 12-game losing streak.

“It was a very inexperienced team, and we needed to focus on working hard until the end,” coach Dan Bithell said. “We just haven’t learned how to close things out in each game.”

The team drove to Phoenix on Oct. 28 to play its final match of the season against South Mountain. Pima lost three sets in a row. South Mountain opened the match with an 18-25 win, followed by 22-25 and 15-25 point victories.

Mesa visited Aztec territory on Oct. 26 for Pima’s final home match. The Aztecs won one of four sets.

“It was a high-level game and we gave them a good fight, but we had some unforced errors,” Bithell said.

Freshmen offensive leader Kaylee Rakowski made 10 kills. Freshmen libero Brittany Oddo had 15 digs and two service aces. Sophomore setter Czarina Schutt contributed with three aces and freshmen setter Kami Humphrey served three aces and made three blocks.

Bithell expects a better season next year.

“I do plan on getting people who want to work hard for the team,” he said. “I expect much more for next year.”

Season ends with losses.

The Pima Community College volleyball team concluded the season with losses against Mesa and South Mountain community colleges.

The (3-21-0 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) Aztecs hoped to finish their season strong but instead came home empty-handed.

The team had an 11-game losing streak, then three wins at a San Diego tournament, followed by a 12-game losing streak.

“It was a very inexperienced team, and we needed to focus on working hard until the end,” coach Dan Bithell said. “We just haven’t learned how to close things out in each game.”

The team drove to Phoenix on Oct. 28 to play its final match of the season against South Mountain. Pima lost three sets in a row. South Mountain opened the match with an 18-25 win, followed by 22-25 and 15-25 point victories.

Mesa visited Aztec territory on Oct. 26 for Pima’s final home match. The Aztecs won one of four sets.

“It was a high-level game and we gave them a good fight, but we had some unforced errors,” Bithell said.

Freshmen offensive leader Kaylee Rakowski made 10 kills. Freshmen libero Brittany Oddo had 15 digs and two service aces. Sophomore setter Czarina Schutt contributed with three aces and freshmen setter Kami Humphrey served three aces and made three blocks.

Bithell expects a better season next year.

“I do plan on getting people who want to work hard for the team,” he said. “I expect much more for next year.”

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Volleyball season comes to an end

Volleyball season comes to an end

By AMY ZAMBRANO

The Pima Community College Volleyball team concluded the season with losses against Mesa Community College and South Mountain Community College.

The (3-21-0 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) Aztecs hoped to finish their season strong but instead came home empty handed.

The team had an 11-game losing streak, then three wins at a San Diego tournament, followed by a 12-game losing streak.

“It was a very inexperienced team, and we needed to focus on working hard until the end,” coach Dan Bithell said. “We just haven’t learned how to close things out in each game.”

The team drove to Phoenix on Oct. 28 to play its final match of the season against South Mountain. Pima lost three sets in a row. South Mountain opened the match with an 18-25 win, followed by 22-25 and 15-25 point victories.

Mesa visited Aztec territory on Oct. 26 for Pima’s final home match. The Aztecs gave Mesa a fight as they won one of four very tough sets.

“It was a high-level game and we gave them a good fight,” Bithell said, “but like I said before, we had some unforced errors.”

Freshmen offensive leader Kaylee Rakowski made 10 kills for the team. Freshmen libero Brittany Oddo played well with 15 digs and two service aces in the conference loss. Sophomore setter Czarina Schutt contributed with three aces and freshmen setter Kami Humphrey served three aces and made three blocks.

Next year seems far off for Bithell, but he expects a better season next year.

“I do plan on getting people who want to work hard for the team,” he said. “I expect much more for next year.”

 

——–

By AMY ZAMBRANO

The Pima Community College volleyball season is almost over and the team’s expectation is to finish strong.

“We just want to be able to finish this season on a positive note,” freshmen setter Kami Humphrey said. “We want to finish the season strong.”

The (3-20, 0-14 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) Aztecs could not keep up with Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Eastern Arizona College or Central Arizona College in their most recent matches.

The Aztecs lost 3-0 to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Oct. 21. The first and closest set was lost 25-21, while the second and third sets were lost 25-13 and 25-19.

The team lost three sets to none in an away match against Eastern Arizona on Oct. 19. The first and second sets were lost 25-19, 25-14. The third and final set went to Eastern Arizona with a score of 25-15.

Pima lost a home match against Central Arizona on Oct. 14.

The Aztecs opened the best-of-five match with a 25-22 win, but lost the next three games 25-23, 25-20 and 25-17.

Freshman outside hitter Kalee Rakowski led the team with 15 total kills. Kami Humphrey had a good two-way match with 18 assists and four blocks. Freshman libero Brittany Oddo contributed 13 digs for the team in the conference loss.

Coach Dan Bithell said he is proud of the players and their hard work during the season.

“We played many physical imposing teams and we were not intimidated,” he said. “We just let the season slip away from us because of unforced errors, but overall worked very hard.”

Pima had its final home match of the 2011 season Oct. 26 against Mesa Community College and its final match against South Mountain Community College Oct. 28.

 

Freshman libero Brittany Oddo makes an effort to keep the ball in play.

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