By Alexis Lyers
In his second season as head coach for the Lady Pioneers, Paul Castillo led a team filled with the familiar faces of six returners, including First-Team All-Cal Pac selection Amanda Loeffler and Second-Team All-Cal Pac selection Lauren Purdom. There were also four new faces: Lindsay VanDenburgh from nearby Napa Valley College, Hannah Clarke from Pasadena City College, freshman Tiana Whittington and sophomore Lydia Earles.
Last season, the Lady Pioneers had a 14-10 record and went 7-7 in conference play, just missing the playoffs. Despite expectations, this season proved to fall short yet again. The Pioneers finished the season with a score of 6-13 and 5-8 in conference play. It was a winning percentage of .316, down .267 from last year. On senior night, they lost to Simpson University, which was Simpson’s only win of the year.
Senior Amanda Loeffler, who has set numerous PUC volleyball records and has scored over 1000 kills, will be graduating this year with a B.S. in Communications. Lauren Purdom, with over 600 kills, will also be graduating this year with a B.S. in Business. With two of his most dominant players departing, Coach Castillo must fill a huge gap. With seven players returning, the Lady Pioneers will have a strong foundation to start, but they will dearly miss their two key players who have left a mark on PUC volleyball history. Good luck next season, Lady Pioneers. PUC is rooting for you.