YUMA, Ariz. – Arizona Western College outside hitter Mafe Sandoval spent the volleyball season as a dominant force for the Lady Mats. She was named an NJCAA First Team All-American to cap her outstanding freshman season. She was also named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American Second Team. She continues a long tradition of All-Americans for the team, but she is the first All-American under head coach Loryane Chandler.
“We are happy to see that Mafe is representing us at the national level,” said Chandler. “Having an All-American on our roster allows the program to continue down the right path. This accomplishment will help get Mafe the ‘looks’ needed to land an exceptional four-year offer after her time here at AWC.”
Sandoval was named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year and averaged 3.39 kills per set (tied for second in the conference). She helped lead the Lady Matadors to the NJCAA National Tournament after winning a share of the ACCAC title. She set a season high with 23 kills and a .600 hitting percentage in a five-set win against Yavapai College on September 16.
Sandoval is the first AWC freshman volleyball player to be named an All-American since Maria del mar Guzman Franco back in 2013-14.
As a team, the Lady Mats finished with a 26-4 overall record and had one of the top offenses in the country. AWC averaged 12.88 kills per set (10th in the NJCAA) and started the season on a 23 match winning streak.
From the ACCAC, Sandoval was the only Division I player to be named an All-American. Division II Glendale had two players named All-Americans, and Scottsdale CC had one.
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.