Aztecs dig in for the long haul



After a tough loss to a juggernaut of a team No. 8 South Mountain, the Aztecs looked to bounce back with a series of non-conference wins.


The Aztecs took a little break from the desert heat and spent a weekend in the city founded by the Germans found in 1904. Like Ron Burgundy of “Anchorman” would say: “The greatest city in the world of San Diago.”


Sept. 28: PCC 3, Grand Canyon University Club 0


The Aztecs earned their 10th win of the season with a good old-fashioned sweep. Pima (10-8) won in straight sets, 25-14, 25-18, 25-22.


Freshman Madi Nash had another match with nine kills, 13 digs and two aces. Ashlee Sappington had seven kills while Jade Romine had six kills, 15 digs and one block. Kaleigh Hockett had 27 assists, and Grace Adams finished up with 11 digs.


Sept. 26: PCC 2, Scottsdale Community College 3


The Aztecs had their sights to rally back from two sets but failed to seal the win against Scottsdale Community College.


In five sets (25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 20-25, 15-13), Pima lost its third straight conference match.

Nash had an excellent match as she rescored a double double with 20 kills and 23 digs. She led the team in both stats.


Sept. 22: PCC 0, Miramar College 0


In the Aztecs’ final match of their San Diego mission, the team coasted through Miramar College, 25-20, 25-9, 25-12.

Freshman Annie Pena finished the game with seven kills while Romine had six kills and 19 digs. Hockett finished with 26 assists and two aces.


Pima beat out Scottsdale in aces, digs and blocks, but Scottsdale had the better hitting percentage.


Sept. 22: PCC 3, Cuyamaca College 0


Pima started out the second day strong in the Golden Coast by taking down Cuyamaca College in three straight sets, 25-23, 25-15, 25-19.


Freshman Kaitlin Schmich finished with 11 kills and Nash had 13 digs and five aces. With Kaleigh Hockett’s 28 assists the Aztecs were able to put up big numbers to close the start the day on a good note.


Sept 21: PCC 3, San Diego City College 1


Pima was able to rally back after losing the first set, the team beat San Diego City College in four sets, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-11.


Hockett killed it with 42 assists and six aces, and Pena had 11 kills with seven digs. Sophomore Lyrica Tavesi put in about nine kills and three blocks.

This was the only match the Aztecs played on their first day in San Diego.


Sept 19: PCC 1, No. 8 South Mountain Community College 3


The Aztecs went to war as the team had a tough match against No. 8-ranked South Mountain Community College.


After a long battle, Pima fell to the Cougars in four sets, 26-24, 25-21, 25-27, 25-19.

In the first set, the Aztecs were looking good as they gave the Cougars a run for their money as they would tie it 24-24, but South Mountain would score the final 2 points, closing out the set.


With another well-played set, Pima would take a 21-20 lead, but South Mountain was the better team and fought through the adversity by scoring 5 points to take a 2-0 lead.

Down 2-0, the Aztecs were not ready to go home. Pima rallied from a 24-21 deficit to win the third set to stay alive. The fourth set was a lot different. Because of a terrible start, the Aztecs were down 22-12. The team made a quick run to cut the Cougar’s lead in half at 22-17, but that wasn’t enough, as the team fell short in the end.


“It wasn’t our best effort, unfortunately, I felt like we had a really good game plan against a good team,” Dan Bithell said. “We allowed a lot of pressure to change the way we were reacting to things.”


Nash and Jade Romine both played a hell of a match as they finished with double-doubles.  Nash had 10 kills and 22 digs, while Romine had 10 kills and 14 digs. Schmich had 23 digs, and Hockette had 33 assists.


“I thought we did a really good job starting,” Nash said. “That has been something we have been struggling with. Today, we had that sense of urgency, and that was good for us.”


Nash was selected as one of the captains from her teammates and coaches. She is an outside hitter and is very competitive when it comes to making sure her team is on top.