YUMA, Ariz---The Arizona Western Lady Matadors (15-12 overall, 8-3 ACCAC) responded from a set defecit to beat the Yavapai RoughRiders (17-5 overall, 8-3 ACCAC) in four Saturday afternoon at The House to take the season series.
Much like the Matadors entered the weekend trailing Yavapai, the Mats dropped the opening set in a back and forth affair in which AWC could not sustain rallies. Lacie Tenney led the attack for the RoughRiders while Lexi Cole and Kennedy Wright added key points.
The second set saw AWC in an early hole again, down 8-2 but the Mats rallied to take an 11-8 lead. Yavpai tied the set after a timeout but the Matadors capitalized on an error, Melissa Garciglia Banuelos delivered an ace, and Jovana Papaz hammered home a kill to regain the lead. The teams exchanged jabs until the Mats 17-16 lead. With Garciglia Banuelos serving, the Matadors extended the lead to 21-17 before closing out the set. Garciglia Banuelos registered a kill and an ace, while Delaney St. Pierre delivered two blocks, including the final point to win 25-18.
The first eleven points of set three alternated back and forth with the Matadors holding a 6-5 edge. Neither team scored consecutive points until the Mats 8-1 run ended with a Yavapai timeout and the score 13-6. Up 14-8, the Matadors benefited from a string of RoughRider errors that would put AWC up 22-11. The Mats forced set point at 24-13 before finishing the set 25-19.
AWC took control of the fourht set behind another big performance from Garciglia Banuelos who had four kills in the first nine points. Penina Matau also inserted herself into a crucial stretch with the set tied at 15. Matau delivered three straight points for the Matadors, only interrupted by Wright's kill, forcing a RoughRider timeout at 19-16. After the timeout, Garciglia Banuelos added anothe kill before Papaz struck on consecutive points and Matau rounded out the run. Up 23-16, It took a St. Pierre kill to setup match-point, which AWC converted to win 25-19.
Garciglia Banuelos led the way with 20 kills, a season high in conference play for her. Matau finished with 11 kills and two blocks. The Mats finished with a .317 hitting percentage while holding Yavapai to just .101.
Wright and Lexi Cole both finished the match in double-digits for kills.
The Matadors extend their win streak to four matches while seizing the tie-breaker over Yavapai, their opponent for the November 5th Region I, Division I Championship. Each team has two matches left with the Mats hosting Mesa Wednesday at 7:00pm.
Tickets are $5, students get in free with I.D. The Match will be streamed live via AWC TV.
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.