Matador volleyball falls to Redlands; Football up to No. 8
The Arizona Western Matadors volleyball team's quest at making the NJCAA Tournament for the first time under coach Jason Smith came up short on Tuesday.
The Matadors lost 22-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 to Redlands (El Reno, Okla.) Community College in the District C Championship.
“Once again, we didn't come to do the little things as well as we know we can. It's haunted us all year and it came back to get us at a very crucial point,” Smith said. “However, in no way does this change how I feel about this group of kids. I truly love them and I'm already looking forward to next year.”
Sophomore outside hitter Paula Rosa and freshman outside hitter Amber Graham each had 10 kills for the Matadors, and sophomore middle blocker Amanda Watkins had nine. Rosa also had a team-high 19 digs and three aces, and Graham had 16 digs. Kylee Chun led the Matadors with 22 assists, and former San Luis standout Melly Wong had 17 digs in the losing effort.
The Cougars, the Region II champions, led 12-6 in the first game before the Matadors, the Region I champions, took the lead for good, thanks to a 9-1 run.
In the third set, the Matadors led by as many as five and after six ties and two lead changes, Redlands came away with a 26-24 victory.
The loss puts the Matadors' record to 18-9 on the season. Arizona Western swept Eastern Arizona to win its first Region I Final since 2007.
Matadors jump to No. 8
Entering their final regular season game of the year, the Matadors jumped three spots to No. 8 in the NJCAA Football Poll.
The Matadors (7-1) will host No. 7 Snow College at 7 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Last week, Arizona Western beat New Mexico Military Institute 59-30.
Glendale Community College, which gave the Matadors their only loss of the season, jumped three spots to No. 15.