Volleyball Earns a Tough Road Victory
On Friday the Roughrider volleyball squad made their second journey this season to Thatcher, AZ to take on ACCAC foe Eastern Arizona College. Yavapai entered the match with a 2-4 conference record while EAC sat in 2nd place with a 5-1 mark. The Roughriders took the match in 4 sets by scores of 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24.
Yavapai started the match on fire and forced the Gila Monsters to call a quick time out because the Roughriders led 4-0 in set 1. The Gila Monsters inched closer throughout the set but Yavapai played error free volleyball at the end of the set and increased their margin of victory to 5 as the set concluded.
The home crowd got behind the Monsters and urged them on to a win in set 2. Yavapai regrouped and played one of their best sets of the year in set 3 and came away with a 7 point win. Yavapai’s effort and energy level were strong to start set 4 but the Eastern Arizona squad played their best set of the night and held a 2-4 point lead throughout most of set 4. The Roughriders were playing well throughout set 4 but could not close the gap until the Gila Monsters were ready to force a 5th set as they were up 24-21. At that point the determination and team work of Yavapai came through as they fought off 3 straight set points. Sophomore MB Makenna Busse hit a well placed ball down the line for a kill which brought the score to 22-24. Then Busse went back to the line to serve with EAC still having set point and she put a tough serve in play which led to an overpass which freshman middle blocker Lacie Tenney put away for a kill which brought the score to 23-24. With the Gila Monsters still 1 point away from the win sophomore outside hitter Nynke de Vries made a game saving dig and eventually the Monsters could not get the ball past the big Roughrider block. Now with the score tied at 24 all and the Eastern Arizona crowd on their feet Busse served again but a hitting error by EAC gave Yavapai the lead and match point with the score 25-24. The Gila Monsters called a time out to regroup but after the timeout Busse served another good one and while trying to avoid the Roughrider block the Eastern Arizona attacker hit the ball long giving Yavapai the 4 set victory avenging their 4 set loss on their previous trip to Thatcher less than 3 weeks ago.
The offense was spread around very evenly throughout the match by freshman setter Pilar Daugherty who collected 34 assists to go along with 11 digs and 3 kills. Tenney had a team high 12 kills which led to a hitting percentage of .324 which was also a team best. Sophomore libero Victoria McCarty led the defense with 21 digs and chipped in 1 of the team’s 4 service aces. Other key contributions included sophomore right side hitter Lexi Cole with 9 kills and 4 blocks, de Vries with 8 kills and 16 digs, freshman outside hitter Annie Harte with 7 kills and 12 digs, and Busse with 7 kills and 5 blocks.
Yavapai will now finish the remainder of their ACCAC schedule at home over the next 3 weeks. Kicking off the home stand is 1st place Arizona Western on Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm in Walraven Gym. Yavapai’s improved ACCAC record now stands at 3-4 which is just 2 matches behind 2nd place Eastern Arizona.