YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Western College volleyball team closed out the regular season strong on Friday night. The Lady Mats (25-2 overall, 14-2 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) swept Central Arizona (3-21 overall, 2-14 ACCAC) 25-8, 25-14, 25-10. AWC dominated on sophomore night and finished with only three hitting errors.
In the first set, the Lady Mats took an early lead and never looked back. The team racked up 14 kills to only one error and hit .481 as a team. A Keana Smalls kill put the team up 10-4. A few points later, Central couldn’t return her serve, and AWC led 15-5. The team cruised through the rest of the set.
Both sides came out slow and traded points early in the second set. Central Arizona took its last lead of the match at 7-6 before Arizona Western righted the ship. Libero Sofia Lopez went on a service run that re-established a big AWC lead. The Lady Mats only had one hitting error in the match while hitting .524 with 12 kills.
Arizona Western continued to play well in the third set. The team finished with 12 kills to one error and hit .550. The Lady Matador servers kept Central out of system throughout the set, and the offense capitalized. Deja Lester finished off a strong night where she led the Lady Mats with 10 kills and hit .643. The sophomore also added four blocks.
Mafe Sandoval had eight kills and 11 digs. Sophomore setter Stephany Orjuela had 32 assists, 11 digs and a pair of aces. Karen Asprilla and Kelly Murphy both added five kills apiece without an error.
The Lady Mats claimed at least a share of the ACCAC title (pending other results on the night), and they will host the Region I Finals with a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament on the line. They play the winner of Eastern Arizona College and Yavapai College on Friday, November 4 at 7:00 pm.
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 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.