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Matador volleyball heads to Thatcher
(11) Arizona Western at Eastern Arizona
Time: 7 p.m. today, Guitteau Gymnasium, Thatcher
Last game: Matadors lost to Central Wyoming 25-18, 27-25; Gila Monsters defeated New Mexico Military 25-24, 26-17
Records: AWC (7-2 overall, 3-1 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference); Eastern Arizona: (6-7 overall, 2-1 ACCAC)
Players to watch: Sophomore middle blocker Amanda Watkins was named the ACCAC Player of the Week for her performance in the Scottsdale Volleyball Classic, where the Matadors won four of their five matches. ... Eastern Arizona, the NJCAA Region I Division I champs from 2011, return the reigning conference Player of the Year in opposite hitter Tupu Satele.
The lowdown: This is a rematch of the Region I Division I final from a year ago, which Eastern Arizona won 25-18, 25-22, 25-19 over the Matadors — the third straight year the Gila Monsters have swept their opponent in the region final. Also, Eastern Arizona won both regular season matches last year and have won five straight against the Matadors. Arizona Western is off to a good start, but in order to prove the Matadors are serious contenders for the region title this year, they'll have to prove they can beat the Gila Monsters.