Heading East

YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Western College volleyball team has some major shoes to fill next season after two sophomores signed with four-year schools this spring. All-around talents Mafe Sandoval and Yolaine Mosquera Lopez take a combined 359 kills and 284 digs to their next stops. Sandoval signed with NAIA power Columbia College, and Mosquera Lopez signed with NCAA Division II Ohio Valley University.

Sandoval tied for second on the team this season with 179 kills while playing in 21 matches this season after battling injuries. Plus, Sandoval led the team with 2.89 kills per set. She was also dependable in the back row and was second on the team with 195 digs (3.15 per set). As a freshman, Sandoval led the team with 322 kills and 3.39 kills per set in 30 matches while being named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year and an NJCAA All-American.

Columbia College has been to the NAIA National Tournament every season since 1994 and has won the championship four times in that stretch. Sashiko Sanay-Heredia, Maria del mar Guzman Franco and Polina Severina were a part of the last Columbia team to win a national title in 2015.

Mosquera Lopez joined the team this year as a sophomore and led the way with 180 kills in 22 matches. She had seven matches with at least 10 kills this year and helped lead the team past Yavapai in the final match of the regular season on October 27.

She heads to Ohio Valley University in Vienna, West Virginia, where a pair of Lady Matador alumni played last year. Stephany Orjuela led OVU in assists, and Jessica Rafay led the team in kills.

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.


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