YUMA, Ariz. – Aggressive energy powered the Arizona Western volleyball team on Saturday night. The Lady Mats spread the ball around as five players had at least six kills in a sweep of Yavapai. AWC racked up 43 kills to win 25-15, 25-23 and 25-20.
Arizona Western (12-8 overall, 4-4 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) erased an early 5-0 hole in the first set and battled back to take a 14-13 lead. The Lady Mats ripped off an impressive 11-2 run to close the set in dominant fashion. Yenny Montoya Murillo came on strong down the stretch with multiple kills. She led the team with 10 kills in the match.
AWC built a lead early in the second set. Up 7-5, Yolaine Mosquera Lopez killed an overpass, and Ke’ila Williams tipped home a kill that pushed the lead to four. Williams extended the lead to five a few points later with an ace for an 11-6 lead that forced a Yavapai (12-9 overall, 6-2 ACCAC) timeout.
Out of the timeout, Yavapai started to whittle away at the lead. The Roughriders went on a 10-5 run that tied the match at 16 and forced a timeout from AWC.
Yavapai then led 18-17 before Williams blasted home back-to-back kills to put the Lady Mats up for good. Montoya Murillo made it 20-18 with a kill of her own, but Yavapai scored two points to tie the match at 20.
The Roughriders served it out, and then Montoya Murillo blocked a tip for a 22-20 lead. The two sides traded side outs through to the end of the set. AWC led 24-23 when Yavapai was called for being in the net as Kiara Erving hammered home a set in the middle. Despite that kill not counting, Erving finished with eight kills.
In the third set, Arizona Western took an early lead and made it stick. Yavapai served it wide to put AWC up 4-3. AWC scored four straight with two kills, an ace and a Yavapai error.
Williams pushed the lead to 12-6 a few points later with another nice swing in the middle. She finished with six kills and a .600 hitting percentage in the match.
Yavapai trimmed the lead to three two separate times, but each time the Lady Mats answered with a run. Haylee Paladini finished things off with a kill to win the set 25-20. Paladini had eight kills in the match.
Neyshlian Roman Concepcion led the Lady Matador defense with 25 digs. Setter Sydney Hancock had 20 assists and a dozen digs. Mafe Sandoval had seven kills and nine digs.
The Lady Mats head to Glendale Community College next Wednesday for a match at 7:00 p.m.
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. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.