Yavapai Loses a Close Battle with Northern Idaho
On day 2 of the NJCAA DI National Championship Tournament the Roughriders came out strong winning the first set 25-21. Unfortunately they dropped the next 3 sets to a solid Northern Idaho squad 23-25, 20-25, 20-25.
Northern Idaho was more efficient attacking with a ,130 hitting percentage compared to Yavapai’s .074. All other statistical categories were virtually identical. Defensively Yavapai had 60 digs and 21 blocks compared to Northern Idaho’s 63 digs and 22 blocks. Yavapai earned 4 service aces while Northern Idaho had 3. The difference of 9 kills (45 to 54) was the deciding factor for the Roughriders.
The match also saw several momentum swings in favor of both teams. In set 2 Yavapai was down by a score of 18-24. The Roughriders fought their way back to 23-24. Even though Yavapai lost set 2 23-25 that 5-1 scoring run gave the Roughriders confidence going into the all important set 3.
Yavapai picked up right where they left off with a 3-0 lead forcing Northern Idaho to use an early timeout. Yavapai remained in control of the set and until they led 18-14. Then it was Northern Idaho’s turn to grab the momentum as they went on a 7-0 run to steal the lead at 21-18. They went on to complete the win with a 4-2 scoring run.
Set 4 was close throughout but at the end Northern Idaho’s block proved too strong for Yavapai’s attack as they earned 3 of their final 5 points with blocks.
Highlights for the Roughriders included a match high 19 kills by freshman Iva Alebic. She missed out on another double / double by only 1 dig as she finished with 9. Sophomore Shelby Mottram has a team high .375 hitting percentage among the attackers with 7 kills, 1 error, on 16 attempts. Mottram also contributed 5 blocks with 2 of them being solo blocks. Sophomore Paige Hamilton also had 5 blocks as well as 6 kills. Sophomore Kayle Park had a team high 18 digs as well as 2 blocks and 1 service ace. Sophomore Brooke Donnelly was second with 14 digs and turned in 5 assists from the libero position. Freshman Jordan Tilley had a team high 34 assists as well as a team high hitting percentage of .417 with 5 kills, 0 errors, on 12 attempts. Sophomre Kelsey Park turned in a solid offensive performance with 6 kills and a hitting percentage of .136. Freshman Jaynalee Hoopai was the most consistent passer of the match and chipped in 7 digs.
The Roughriders finish the 2015 season with an overall record of 22-8, and an ACCAC record of 14-2. The District C Championship was the first in program history which punched their ticket to 16 team National Championship Tournament which is also a first in program history.