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Teenage Phoenix sisters bring home national wrestling titles

Erica and Lisa Pastoriza
Posted at 4:32 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 21:58:02-04

PHOENIX  — Two young Phoenix sisters are dominating the competition in wrestling, with the 14- and 15-year-old girls both recently winning national titles.

Erica and Lisa Pastoriza have been wrestling and training together since they were little kids.

"I started getting good at it and then it became my life," said Erica, who will be a junior at Sierra Linda High School next year.

"With us two being both at kind of the same level and we both do the same things, I feel like us practicing together really improves our wrestling," said Lisa, a rising freshman.

They don't compete in the same division, but the girls and their parents do travel together to tournaments often.

This year, Erica, 15, won a "Trinity Award" for winning three big tournaments in a row. Most recently in Texas, she won her division in the nationals world team trials. She'll compete in the world championships in July.

"Since I took first, I get to travel to Budapest and I get to wrestle for the United States," said Erica.

Lisa also won her second freestyle national title. They were there with the Arizona Girls Wrestling Club.

Lisa said her favorite part of competing is traveling.

"If I wasn't wrestling, I wouldn't really travel everywhere I've been so far. So I really get to see new things, and then the people in it, I only have wrestling friends," she said.

Their father and coach David Pastoriza said he's a proud dad. "Lot of hard work, lot of dedication," he said.

He said the quality in women's wrestling has improved as more girls compete in the sport.

"Prior to three years, girls wrestling was almost nonexistent in Arizona," he said.

"We were wrestling guys at tournaments, there was no girls division, no nothing," said Erica.

The sisters hope more girls will give the sport a try.

They plan to keep wrestling in college, and eventually hope to make it to the Olympics.

You can learn more about Arizona Girls Wrestling here.