PRESCOTT, Ariz. – A strong push towards the post-season stopped flat in the Region I Final as Arizona Western fell in straight sets to (RV) Yavapai College Tuesday night at the Walraven Gymnasium.
For the third straight match, the Matadors were missing at least one of their All-Conference performers.
An early deficit brought back memories of the Matadors rough start in the prior trip to Prescott against the RoughRiders.
Yavapai took an early 4-0 that turned into a 7-2 advantage before Arizona Western took a timeout. That didn’t slow down the RoughRiders who extended the lead 12-4 before sailing to a 25-10 victory in set one.
Luisa Maria Mesa’s kill off the block gave the Mats their first lead of the night at 2-1 in set two. Jovana Papaz added a point with a strong serve. But Yavapai responded with a pair of blocks and strong service, from Alia Rasmussen, spurring a six point run and taking a 7-3 lead before a Matador timeout.
Papaz responded with a kill after the timeout to earn the serve back.
But Lacey Tenney and Kennedy Wright combined for 17 kills in the first 36 RoughRider points to double up the Mats at 12-6. The Lady Matadors mounted a comeback with Mesa getting a block to pull the Matadors within four at 14-10.
Yavapai pulled away, scoring five of six points, drawing the final Matador timeout at 19-11 YC.
The RoughRiders closed the set behind Tenney and Wright by scoring 6 of the final nine points in the set to win set two 25-14.
Wright and Tenney combined again in set three to help the RoughRiders gain a sizable lead before completing the sweep 25-9, securing the Region I Title for Yavapai College in three sets.
Both teams looked wildly different against each other when playing at home as both teams won six of seven sets on their home court.
The RoughRiders improve to 20-5 on the season and advances to the District Championship against Hill College on Saturday, November 9th in Hillsboro, Texas.
The Matadors finish the season in the Region I Final for the 19th time in the last 22 seasons, third time in the last five years and second consecutive appearance.
Arizona Western finishes the year at 15-15 overall, 8-4 in ACCAC regular season play.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma.