AWC volleyball swpet by Yavapai; should still host Region I Final
The Arizona Western volleyball team needed to win one of the two matches at home against Yavapai on Friday night to avoid getting into the world of tiebreakers.
But the Matadors didn’t win a set the entire night, losing the three sets of the suspended match before falling 25-10, 25-22, 25-20 in the second.
The Roughriders’ pair of wins put Arizona Western, Eastern Arizona, Central Arizona and Yavapai in a four-way tie for the top seed of the Region I Division I championship match — each team 10-6 in Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.
But it’s looking as if Arizona Western coach Jason Smith got some silver lining to the rough night — it appears the Matadors should make it out of the tiebreaker gauntlet unscathed.
“As far as I know, we’re hosting Eastern here on Wednesday,” Smith said. “But I don’t have the final say in that.”
The news at The House after the matches was based off head-to-head matches between the four schools. Arizona Western and Eastern Arizona were 5-4 on the year, while Central Arizona and Yavapai were both 4-5. During their three meetings in the regular season, Arizona Western beat Eastern Arizona twice — including a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 sweep on Wednesday.
However, while the end result was what the Matadors wanted, the two matches left much to be desired.
The first match started where their Oct. 5 meeting was suspended — Yavapai ahead 16-12 in the second set after Arizona Western won the first.
Arizona Western tied it three times late in the first set — at 23 with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Paula Rosa, at 24 by a kill from sophomore outside hitter Polina Severina and at 25 from a kill by freshman outside hitter Amber Graham. However, Yavapai answered with a kill by freshman outside hitter Jennifer Sadler and freshman middle blocker Natalie Fahey blocked Graham to end the set. There were eight ties in the third set — the last coming 21-21 on a double-hit by Arizona Western. The Roughriders responded by scoring four of the last five points to take the set 25-22.
If the tiebreakers hold up, though, the Matadors could have a chance to make their third straight trip to the Region I Division I Final — hosting it for the first time since 2007. But Smith said there’s something his team must do first.
“We have to refocus on what we did on Wednesday night.”