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VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs end season with 8-20 record

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs end season with 8-20 record

By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO

 The Pima Community College volleyball team finished its season with an 8-20 overall record, 2-14 in ACCAC conference play.

The season ended with two road losses.

After losing in straight sets on the road at South Mountain Community College on Oct. 26, the Aztecs traveled to Mesa for their final match. They again dropped three straight sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-13.

Pima took an early lead in the first set but was unable to keep momentum going for the second and third sets.

Freshman Mattea Reeb accumulated 20 assists and one ace, while freshman Trae Johnson posted six kills, 12 digs and two aces.

The team averaged 10 kills and assists per set during the season’s 28 matches and 103 sets.

Sophomore Aleksandra Palmer led the team in kills with 261 and points with 274. Freshman Anissa Conrad led in digs with 449. Johnson topped the team with hitting efficiency at .211.

Though it was a rough season, head coach Dan Bithell is excited and optimistic about next season.

“We’re looking toward next season to improving on what we need to,” Bithell said.

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs close out season Oct. 28

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs close out season Oct. 28

By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO

 As the season drew to a close, the Pima Community College volleyball team never found a consistent path to victory. Their season record was 8-19 overall, 2-13 in ACCAC.

“We’re kind of struggling to find some identity at this point, in terms of what kind of team we think we should be,” head coach Dan Bithell said.

The Aztecs played their final regular-season game on Oct. 28 at Mesa Community College.

Oct. 12: PCC 1, Yavapai College 3
The Aztecs avoided a sweep on the road against the Yavapai Roughriders, losing 3-1 in four sets.

Pima rallied for a comeback in the third set, but was sent home in the fourth. Set scores were 25-15, 25-14, 21-25, 25-21.

“I think if I could put my finger right on it, it could be something that we could fix quickly,” Bithell said. “It’s a combination of things. We’re maybe not completely bought in to the process of getting better every day.”

Freshman Kaitlynn Maxon led the team with 15 kills, while freshman Trae Johnson finished with 10 kills and 13 digs. Freshman Anissa Conrad had 26 digs and one ace.

Oct. 14: PCC 0, Chandler-Gilbert CC 3

In their final home match of the regular season, the Aztecs were swept 3-0 by the Coyotes.

Pima, which lost both matches against Chandler-Gilbert this season, struggled to keep any lead in three sets. Final scores were 25-18, 25-21, 25-18.

“We have really good days and some maybe not-so-good days,” Bithell said. “I think we’re struggling to carry over what we do in practice to matches.”

Sophomore Aubrey Lomeli and Aleksandra Palmer each finished with seven kills. Conrad had 17 digs and freshman Kylie Riesgo had a team-high 17 assists.

Lomeli, Palmer and Victoria Davis were recognized in a sophomore ceremony after the game.

Oct. 19: PCC 0, Central Arizona 3

The Aztecs put up their dukes in Coolidge but were swept in straight sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-23. The loss marked their seventh in a row.

Lomeli finished the match with 12 kills and two aces, while freshman Hannah Gerard had 16 assists and two aces. Conrad amassed 24 digs and Maxon contributed 12 kills.

Oct. 26: PCC 0, South Mountain CC 3

Failing to reproduce last month’s result, the Aztecs fell to the Cougars on the road in straight sets, 2-16, 25-15, 2-20.

Lomeli finished the match with seven kills, eight digs and one ace. Freshman Mattea Reeb amassed 29 assists and six digs.

VOLLEYBALL: Team finding its stride

VOLLEYBALL: Team finding its stride

By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO

The Pima Community College volleyball team is gaining momentum, taking second place at a recent tournament in San Diego, California.

The team also has an injured player. Sophomore Victoria Davis has a stress fracture on her left tibia bone and will be unable to play until she receives medical clearance. 

Sept. 14: PCC 2, Chandler-Gilbert CC 3

Pima clashed with Chandler-Gilbert Community College in a conference match on the road, losing 2-3.

The Aztecs took an early 2-1 lead but ultimately fell in five sets, 25-16, 19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11.

Sophomore Aubrey Lomeli led Pima in kills at 16, while freshman setter Hannah Gerard topped the team in assists with 32.

Sept. 16: PCC 3, South Mountain CC 0

The Aztecs pulled of a 3-0 upset when they hosted No. 12 South Mountain Community College.

After falling behind in three straight sets, the Aztecs rallied to win 26-24, 25-22, 25-20.

Head coach Dan Bithell called the victory an exciting win.

“We were finally able to put in all of our efforts in the right direction and have it pay off for us,” he said. “It’s great to get a win at home against a good team.”

Freshman libero Anissa Conrad had a team-high 18 digs for the match.

“I thought we really worked well together and we flowed really well,” Conrad said. “We communicated with each other at all times, which helps. And we stood together, and stood strong for each other.” 

Sept. 21: PCC 0, Arizona Western College 3

In their second home game in a row, the Aztecs battled Arizona Western College and lost in three straight sets, 25-18, 25-19, 25-10.

Pima trailed during each set and never found an opening to get out in front on the scoreboard against the Matadors.

Sophomore Aleksandra Palmer posted 10 kills and Conrad lead the team with 15 digs.

“We’re a really talented team,” Palmer said. “We’ll have a really good practice, have a lot of high intensity. But coming into the game we lose that intensity and sometimes we’ll shut down pretty early.”

Palmer said the team has a long way to go, but will eventually reach its goals.

“I have a lot of confidence in our team’s ability,” she said.

Sept. 23 PCC 3, Southwestern College 2

The team traveled to Chula Vista, California, to battle Southwestern College and won in a five-set match, 24-26, 25-22, 25-18, 14-25, 15-12.

Palmer finished the match with 14 kills and nine digs. Gerard amassed 27 assists, while both Gerard and Conrad served five aces each.

Sept. 24: PCC places second at San Diego Tournament

 The team continued to the San Diego Tournament and received the No. 1 seed after sweeping pool play.

The Aztecs beat Chaffey College in four sets, beat Cuyamaca College in three straight sets and beat host San Diego City College in a five-set tie breaker.

During a re-match against City College in the tournament final, Pima lost the match 25-17.

Palmer and Conrad were selected for the all All-Tournament Team.

Sept. 28: PCC 1, Mesa Community College 3

Back at home; the Aztecs went up against No. 17 Mesa Community College and lost in four sets, 25-16, 25-22, 20-25, 25,15.

Palmer finished the match out with 12 kills and 13 digs, while Gerard ended with 19 assists and 17 digs.

Pima season cut short

Pima season cut short

by DEANNA SHERMAN

The Pima Community College volleyball team (17-16, 7-9 in ACCAC) ended their season early with an elimination loss to South Mountain Community College in their second game of the Region I, Division II tournament in Glendale on Friday, Nov. 6. In just three sets, the No.4 ranked Aztecs fell to No.3 ranked South Mountain, 25-21, 26-24, 25-21.

Sophomore Miranda Bingham had 24 assists, 17 digs and three aces while fellow sophomore Angel Chavez had 18 digs of her own. Sophomore Jamie Holliday finished with 10 kills and one block.

Pima opened the tournament against the No.1 seed Glendale Community College on Thursday, Nov. 5, falling in straight sets 25-19, 25-17, 25-20. The Aztecs peaked in the second set with an 11-10 lead but couldn’t finish the set or the match strong as Glendale swept all three sets.

Holliday and sophomore Brooklyn Scarborough each had eight kills. Bingham had 22 assists and two aces with Chavez staying consistent with 21 digs.

“My first thought is unfortunately disappointment,” said Pima head coach Dan Bithell, as he reflected on the season. “…but overall we had a terrific season. We had more season wins than then the previous…the programs at a good place.”

The Aztecs finished their regular season play with an exciting five-set victory over Chandler-Gilbert on Friday, Oct. 30.

It took Pima a bit to get warmed up as it looked like Chandler-Gilbert was going to take the game after winning the first two sets. Ultimately that was all Chandler-Gilbert would get as the Aztecs rallied back and took the game in the last three sets to finish 21-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-17, 15-11.

Pima had three players in double figures for kills. Scarborough with 19, Davis produced 16 kills and sophomore Mariah Rodriguez had 11. Bingham had an impressive 60 assists, 23 digs and five aces. Chavez finished the match with 27 digs.

Sophomores Bingham and Chavez were honored by the ACCAC conference for their impressive skills and accomplishments this season.

Bingham was named second team All-ACCAC and to the All-Region I, Division II team. Bingham broke the single season school record in assists with 1,209 (9.37 average per set) and had 469 digs and 69 aces. She also finished first in the ACCAC in aces, averaging 0.53 a set.

The team’s libero, Chavez, was selected to the All-ACCAC honorable mention team. Chavez broke the Pima school record with 681 digs (5.32 per set). She also had 98 assists and 37 aces. She also finished first in the ACCAC with number of digs.

“Bingham and Chavez have been consistent all year,” said Bithell. “Defensively Holliday has also stood out this season…the strength was the whole team”

As for next year, Bithell is still “in the grieving process” but looks forward to “the terrific kids coming back…I’m excited to work with them again.”

The Aztecs finished the season with a 17-16 overall record and made their third straight appearance at the Region I, Division II tournament. The team will have seven returning including freshman standout, middle-blocker Kristen Baldwin who finished second in the ACCAC averaging 1.11 blocks per set.

VOLLEYBALL: Hopeful Aztecs break losing skid

VOLLEYBALL: Hopeful Aztecs break losing skid

by DEANNA SHERMAN

The Pima Community College volleyball team (16-14, 6-9 in ACCAC) kept their No.4 rank in the ACCAC standings, despite a loss to Glendale Community College last Friday, Oct. 23.

In just three sets the Aztecs lost their road game 25-23, 25-18, 25-23. Sophomores Jamie Holliday and Brooklyn Scarborough had double digit kills while fellow sophomore Angel Chavez had 26 digs.

PCC had the opposite game play Wednesday Oct. 21 when they pulled out a three-set victory against Mesa Community College 25-18, 25-22, 25-21. This win put Pima firmly in the No. 4 spot after Phoenix College lost to South Mountain Community College the same week.

Every Aztec on the team put up notable stats. Freshman Victoria Davis was a standout with 14 kills, 17 digs and a 2.4 pass rating, while sophomores Miranda Bingham, Arisa Chavez, Angel Chavez and Holliday all had at least 10 or more digs on the night as well.

Pima finally broke their four game losing streak at home against Yavapai College on Friday, Oct. 16.

In an exciting fifth-set tiebreaker the Aztecs managed to pull out the win after Yavapai came back to tie up the sets 2-2 (25-20, 6-25, 25-25-16, 16-25, 17-15.) Davis finished the match with 19 kills and 15 digs with Baldwin having 11 kills, five digs and three blocks.

In a major upset win the seventh ranked Pima team gave third ranked Yavapai only their second loss in ACCAC conference play. This is an important win for the Aztecs going into the playoffs.

Pima lost their fourth straight game on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Host Arizona Western College took the win over Pima in four sets, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-11. It looked like the Aztecs were going to make a come-back in the third set, but failed to continue the stride in the fourth.  Bingham finished the game with 25 assists, 10 digs and two aces.

The Aztecs will play one last regular season game against Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Friday, Oct. 30 before playoffs.

Photo courtesy of Ben Carbajal Sophomore libero Angel Chavez attempts to serve an ace against Mesa CC, Oct. 21.

Photo courtesy of Ben Carbajal
Sophomore libero Angel Chavez attempts to serve an ace against Mesa CC, Oct. 21.

Volleyball: Team struggles for five sets

Volleyball: Team struggles for five sets

by DEANNA SHERMAN

The Pima Community College volleyball team (14-12, 4-7 in ACCAC) played another tough game against the No. 3 ranked Scottsdale Community College on Friday, Oct. 9. Pima lost in five sets in Scottsdale 26-24, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-6.

The last time these two played resulted in a loss at the West Campus, unable to get the win in a very similar fashion, five-sets.

The Aztecs had an impressive 15 aces in the match. Sophomore Miranda Bingham led with five while fellow sophomores Angel Chavez and Arisa Chavez each had four.

Now that Aztec Volleyball is more than halfway through their conference play Coach Dan Bithell says “We still have a long way to go with this season…our goals are to strengthen our hold on a playoff berth and to continue to improve and hopefully learn how to beat the best teams…”

On Wednesday, Oct. 7 the Pima Aztecs played away against Phoenix College, losing in four sets, 25-18, 25-17, 17-25, 25-17.

Down the first two sets, it looked as though Pima was going to make a comeback as they took the third. Phoenix College would seal the victory in the fourth.

PCC played a rough home match against South Mountain Community College on Friday, Oct. 2. Pima took the first set but failed to finish any other sets. 23–25, 25-19, 25–21, 25–22. Pima and South Mountain are now tied in their series, 1-1

The Aztecs played an exciting match against Chandler–Gilbert Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Pima would end up beating host, Chandler–Gilbert in a fifth set tie-breaker, 25–18, 22–25, 26–24,24–26, 15–4.

ON DECK

Oct. 14: @ Arizona Western College, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16: Yavapai College, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 21: Mesa CC, West Campus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23: @ Glendale CC, 7 p.m.

Aztecs break losing streak

Aztecs break losing streak

by DEANNA SHERMAN

The Pima Community College volleyball team (13-9) spent the weekend in California, participating in the San Diego City College Tournament, Saturday Sept. 26.

The Aztecs made it all the way to the championship match after sweeping through pool play and taking the semifinals.

Unfortunately PCC would lose to Glendale Community College in the championship match, a team that the Aztecs lost to a week prior to the tournament.

Sophomore Jamie Holliday was honored for her outstanding skills being named to the All-Tournament team, finishing the tournament with 43 kills and 48 digs in four matches.

Sophomore Angel Chavez had six aces and an impressive 75 digs in five matches.

Chavez is currently in the top five of the division for digs (2nd with 437) and digs-per-set (5th, averaging 5.14)

“I credit my mom for my special skill,” said Chavez, on her notable athleticism. “She worked with me a lot with passing and digging ever since I was little…used to put a mattress down in our living room so I would dive and pass the ball to practice.”

Although Pima impressed in San Diego, they have dropped to seventh in the division rankings after a three game losing streak knocked them down.

“We need to put everything we’re capable of together to close out games,” Chavez said on their struggles. “We need to stay together as a team and maintain the amazing chemistry we have.”

Pima ended their three game losing streak with a win against Mesa Community College on Thursday, Sept. 24 in four sets.

Sophomore Miranda Bingham had a major hand in the victory with three aces, 13 digs and 45 assists alongside defender Chavez who had 20 digs.

On Wednesday, Sept. 23 the Aztecs lost their third straight match at Central Arizona College.

PCC was able to win the second set but couldn’t produce a win, losing the match in four sets (25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20).

PCC lost another game at home to Glendale Community College on Friday, Sept. 18.

The Aztecs lost in just four sets (8-26, 25-20, 21-25, 25-15), unable to outscore Glendale after the second match.

Holliday finished the match with 16 kills and 15 digs. Sophomore Brooklyn Scarborough had 13 kills and 13 digs with fellow sophomore Miranda Bingham adding 50 assists and 17 digs.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16 Pima faced off against Scottsdale Community College in what would be a loss in five sets (23-25,25-23,23-25, 25-12, 15-10).

Despite PCC taking two of the first three sets they couldn’t secure a win as Scottsdale took over the last two sets with ease.

Holliday had a good game with 16 kills and 15 digs while Baldwin had 10 kills with 6 blocks.

The Aztecs will return to Arizona and their conference play Wednesday, Sept. 30 in Chandler against Chandler Gilbert Community College.

Sophomore Jamie Holliday against South Mountain CC. (Photo Courtesy of PCC Athletics)

 

PCC impresses in Scottsdale

PCC impresses in Scottsdale

By DEANNA SHERMAN

Over the weekend of Sept. 11-12, The Pima Community College volleyball team (9-5, 2-1 in ACCAC) participated in the Scottsdale Community College Classic Tournament.

The Aztecs finished the tournament winning four out of five matches

In their first match of the day, Pima defeated Central Wyoming College in four sets. Only struggling in the first set, the Aztecs commanded most of the game.

Pima’s second match was an easy three set victory over Utah State University-Eastern.

The third and final match of the day would prove to be the most entertaining, against Spokane Falls Community College. The Aztecs eventually lost the game.

In day two of the tournament, the Aztecs started against Mesa Community College. The Aztecs started things off rough, but rallied for a fifth set win.

Pima finished the tournament with a breezy win over Victoria College in three sets.

Sophomore Jamie Holliday had 45 kills and 28 digs along with fellow sophomore Angel Chavez, who had 73 digs and seven aces during five matches.

Miranda Bingham, sophomore, finished the tournament with 17 aces, 67 digs and 173 assists.

Freshman middle-blocker Kristin Baldwin had 24 blocks and 19 kills for the tournament.

Baldwin is currently ranked second in blocks-per-set in the division.

The freshman credits her high school coach for her good habits and skills as a blocker. “He saw potential in me at a young age and had me watch videos on how to block when I was in elementary school,” Baldwin said.

Pima is currently ranked 4th and only wanting to move up from there.

“We need to keep practicing and increasing our skills every day and keep growing as a team. And overall: win,” Baldwin said

PCC had a tough match against Benedictine University on Sept 9.  In four sets Pima found themselves struggling to get the lead, ultimately losing the non-conference match.

On Sept. 4, the Aztecs pulled a win at home against Eastern Arizona College. In four very close sets, but Pima finished the game strong in the final set.

Sophomore Brooklyn Scarborough had 14 kills while Holliday finished with 15 kills and 14 digs.

The PCC volleyball team played their first regular season game at home against Phoenix College taking to five sets.

Whitney Nesbitt, sophomore, finished the match with 12 kills and five blocks while Baldwin contributed with 13 blocks.

The Aztecs got back to conference play Wednesday Sept. 16 at the West Campus against Scottsdale Community College after the Aztec Press went to print.

A Pima volleyball player sends the ball over the net against Benedictine University on Sept. 9. (Photo: Nick Meyers/Aztec Press)

VOLLEYBALL: Team faces struggles

VOLLEYBALL: Team faces struggles

By DEANNA SHERMAN

The Pima Community College volleyball team (2-3, 0-1 in ACCAC) played their first official conference match of the season on Aug. 28.

The Aztecs were on the road playing in Phoenix against South Mountain Community College where they played a back and forth match, but ultimately fell to South Mountain in four games.

Sophomore Miranda Bingham finished with 39 assists and 12 digs for the Aztecs. Freshman Kristin Baldwin and sophomore Jamie Holliday both contributed 10 kills, while sophomore Angel Chavez finished with 35 digs and two aces.

The loss was salt on a fresh wound, as just a week prior the Aztecs lost a tough match to South Mountain in a non-conference match during the New Mexico Military Classic.

The New Mexico Military Institute Classic is a two-day volleyball tournament in Roswell, NM Aug. 21-22. Pima came out an even 2-2 from the tournament, never giving a dull performance, with forced fifth sets and close-out matches.

On Aug. 21, the tournament began and opened the Aztecs regular season play. Their first match would end up being the toughest, as they forced a fifth set out of South Mountain, but couldn’t find victory.

The loss only prepared Pima for their second match of the day against Seward Count Community College. Although Seward County fired back in the third and fourth sets, the Aztecs finished strong, holding Seward County off to win in five sets.

The second day of the tournament had a faster pace, but was just as bittersweet as the first.

In their first match, Pima lost in three matches against Hutchinson County Community College.

But the day was not over. The Aztecs pulled themselves together and finished the tourney strong, closing out with a split record 2-2, and defeating their final opponent, Garden City Community College, in three sets.

Pima played their regular season home opener at the West Campus Gymnasium on Wednesday, Sept. 3, after the Aztec Press went to print.

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A Pima volleyball player spikes the ball during a recent scrimmage. (Deanna Sherman/Aztec Press)

Volleyball finishes season at 16-15

Volleyball finishes season at 16-15

By BETO HOYOS

Pima Community College’s volleyball season came to an end when they fell in three sets to Glendale Community College in the Region I Division II championship round on Nov. 8. The Aztecs took second place in the Region I Division II tournament for the first time in program history. Pima came within four points in the first set, but that would be as close as the Aztecs would get in the opening set. Glendale opened up their offense and at one point held a 20-13 lead. The Aztecs held a slim 7-5 advantage in the second set, but Glendale came back to take control. Late in the second set, Pima gave up six straight points and dropped the set. Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim finished the match with eight kills and four blocks, while sophomore Alexis Ammermen had 16 digs and six kills. Pima faced elimination twice on Nov. 7 but rallied to beat Scottsdale Community College in five sets. The Aztecs dropped the first two sets but came back to take three straight sets and pick up the victory. The match went down to the wire before Pima took the final set by two points. Pilgrim finished the game with 14 kills and seven blocks, while Ammermen finished with 12 digs, six blocks and three aces. Freshmen Brooklyn Scarborough contributed 12 kills, while sophomore Liz Mata had 55 assists and 18 digs. Earlier in the day, Pima defeated South Mountain Community College to stay alive in the tournament. The Aztecs held slim leads throughout the first and the second sets en route to a three-set sweep. Pima finished 16-15 for the season.

Angel Chavez makes a diving save.

Angel Chavez makes a diving save. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs secure No. 3 spot

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs secure No. 3 spot

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College volleyball team (13-13, 8-7 in ACCAC conference) secured the No. 3 seed for the Region I Division II playoffs when it defeated Glendale Community College in straight sets on Oct. 24.

In the final  home game of the season the Aztec sophomores were recognized prior to the game.

“It was bittersweet but we were all pumped, every single one of us,” sophomore Alexis Ammerman said.

In the first set, Pima scored five straight points at three different times to take a commanding lead.

The Aztecs found themselves down 19-13 in the second set but mounted a comeback with nine straight points.

Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim had three kills and freshman Jamie Holliday had two aces during that stretch to help Pima take a 22-19 lead.

Pima dominated the third set, and held a double-digit lead four times.

Pilgrim led the way with 14 kills for the match. She was named ACCAC Division II Player of the Week for Oct. 20-26.

Sophomores Nykole Adun had 10 kills and Alexis Ammerman had nine. Liz Mata had 39 assists.

Holliday finished with eight kills and 15 digs, while fellow freshman Angel Chavez had 20 digs.

After the match, the team recognized its sophomores: Adun, Ammerman, Andrea Burnett, Mata and Pilgrim.

PCC will close out the regular season Oct. 31 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 22, the Aztecs snapped a three-match losing streak by defeating Mesa Community College in three sets.

Pima lost to Yavapai College in four sets on Oct. 17, managing to win only the third set.

Head coach Dan Bithell said the team faced tough competition as the season wound down.

“I don’t think the schedule has been a factor, we’ve just run into some good teams,” he said.

Bithell has seen his team improve throughout the season.

“We believe in what we do a lot more now,” he said.

sophomores Nykole Adun, Alexis Ammerman, Andrea Burnett, Liz Mata and Kaysee Pilgrim are recognized at the final home game

Sophomores Nykole Adun, Alexis Ammerman, Andrea Burnett, Liz Mata and Kaysee Pilgrim are recognized at the final home game. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs capture first place  at San Diego tournament

VOLLEYBALL: Aztecs capture first place at San Diego tournament

By BETO HOYOS

After a rough stretch of losses, the Pima Community College volleyball team won the San Diego City College tournament Sept. 27.

“It was the first time this season that we really believed in each other even when we faltered a bit,” Pima head coach Dan Bithell said. “It was a great team effort all day.”

Pima first defeated two California teams, Alan Hancock College and Cerritos College, in three sets each. The wins earned Pima a No. 1 seed heading into the finals.

The Aztecs later faced tougher opponents but kept winning.

“Everyone worked their butts off and we stayed together as a team the whole time,” sophomore Alexis Ammerman said.

Pima defeated a California team, Cuestas College, and conference foe Chandler-Gilbert Community College to advance to the finals.

The Aztecs faced the host school in the final match, and defeated San Diego City College in four sets to win the tournament.

“Tremendously exciting and I am very proud of all the girls’ efforts,” Bithell said.

Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim was named to the All-Tournament team.

On Sept. 24, the Aztecs mounted rallies but lost in four sets to Central Arizona College at West Campus.

They fell behind early in the first set, giving up five straight points. On Central’s game point, they rallied with four straight points of their own but fell 25-19.

They also trailed early in the second set, but rallied to win 25-15 with the help of freshman Angelina Chavez and sophomores Nykole Adun and Liz Mata.

The Aztecs tried to ride the second set momentum in the third set but an early lead did not last long. After being tied 10-10, Central outscored the Aztecs 10-3 to take the lead for good.

In the final set, the Aztecs allowed seven straight points in opening play. They got as close as four points but ultimately dropped the final set and the game.

Pilgrim finished the match with 10 kills and eight blocks. Freshmen Andrea Burnett and Jamie Holliday each had eight kills.

On Sept. 17, the Aztecs lost to Scottsdale Community College in three sets.

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Sophomore Andrea Burnett prepares to strike the ball. (Nick Meyers/Aztec Press)

VOLLEYBALL: Tournament provides challenges

VOLLEYBALL: Tournament provides challenges

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College volleyball team had a tough time at the Scottsdale Classic tournament.

“It was an interesting trip,” sophomore Alexis Ammerman said. “We played well but we played some really good teams.”

The Aztecs dropped all three matches on Sept. 12. They lost in a close opening match to College of Southern Idaho, then lost in three sets to host Scottsdale Community College and to Utah State University.

Pima lost again on Sept. 13 against Central Wyoming College in four hard-fought sets. In the final match of the tournament, the Aztecs defeated Victoria College (Texas) in three sets.

Pima tallied a conference win on Sept. 6 against Mesa Community College. The Aztecs won two sets before dropping the third, but took control in the fourth set.

Sophomore Liz Mata contributed 38 assists and two aces. Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim finished the game with 14 kills and four blocks, while Ammerman had six blocks.

On Sept. 5, the Aztecs hit the road to take on Glendale Community College but could not come away with the win. The Aztecs won the first set but dropped the next three, allowing Glendale to remain undefeated for the season.

On Sept. 3, Pima won a five-match set on the road against Phoenix College during a back-and-forth contest.

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Sophomore Kaysee Polgrim rises to the occasion to tip the ball during Pima’s annual Alumni Match in the West Campus gym on Sept. 10. (Diego Lozano III/Aztec Press)

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

Player strives to be good role model

Player strives to be good role model

By BETO HOYOS

Sophomore volleyball player Alexis Ammerman stands tall on and off the court.

She was an athletic standout at an early age, and participated in multiple sports.

“Honestly, basketball was my first love,” she said.

Ammerman enjoyed basketball and volleyball, and began playing club volleyball as a teenager.

During her sophomore year at Tucson Magnet High School, she had to make a decision and chose volleyball.

“I played club ball and it ran into basketball season, so I had to make a choice,” she said.

After graduating from Tucson High in 2011, Ammerman joined Pima Community College’s volleyball team last year. The 6-footer plays outside hitter.

She began her sophomore season ineligible due to some paperwork issues, but as of Sept. 2 she was officially listed as being on the team.

Head coach Dan Bithell hopes to see her succeed.

“I’d say she’s a really important part of the team,” he said. “It’d be really nice to have her back.”

Off the court, Ammerman is a smart, motivated young woman who hopes to give back to the city that helped raise her. She has fond memories of growing up in the Old Pueblo.

“Tucson has a lot to offer but things aren’t just going to be given to you and easy to find,” she said.

“The city has always been rich in culture and is a nice place to live,” she added.

“Nothing has really changed in Tucson, it’s just your perspective of life that changes. It changes because you get older.”

She’s a fan of the outdoors, and enjoys hiking local trails.

“There are some places where people can’t go hiking, so hiking here is awesome,” she said.

Ammerman also enjoys watching movies in her spare time. She likes comedies, but is a fan of most genres.

“My all-time favorites are ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘The Goonies,’” she said.

Another favorite activity is spending time with friends, family and teammates.

“I like hanging out with friends, and just doing whatever makes me happy,” she said.

As a student-athlete, Ammerman appreciates the support of fans and knows how motivational they can be during a close game. For that reason, she tries to attend other Pima sporting events.

“I like going to other Aztec games and supporting my fellow Aztecs,” she said.

Ammerman grew up as an only child to a single mother, and said she looks to her mother for inspiration.

“My number one motivation is my mom,” she said. “She had me young, so the things I’m doing are things she never got to do.”

Her mother was always available to help her in every way possible, she added. “She’s an amazing person and I just want to make her proud.”

Ammerman is majoring in education, and hopes to become a teacher who can inspire new generations.

“I love kids,” she said.

None of her many part-time jobs has involved working with children, but she is certain she will succeed at teaching.

“I never worked at a YMCA or anything ,but all my life I would babysit or look after kids,” she said.

Ammerman defines a good role model as someone who is motivating and uplifting, and believes she fits the description.

“A good role model would push themselves and push others to do well,” she said.

Ammermen profile-volleyball

Sophomore Alexis Ammerman leads a team cheer with head coach Dan Bithell at the Aztec’s Aug. 29 home opener against South Mountain Community College. Pima lost in three sets. (Beto Hoyos/Aztec Press)