The Roughriders got off to a slow start at South Mountain CC on Friday night. Early in set 1 they found themselves down 8-3 after an 8-0 point run by the Cougars. In the middle of set 1 Yavapai started to find some offensive rhythm but fell 2 points short of the victory as they lost 23-25 behind a team hitting percentage of .174.
Set 2 was not any better as Yavapai could only muster 7 kills to go along with 6 hitting errors for a percentage of only .026. The set 2 score was 19-25.
A few points into set 3 the Roughriders started to look like their usual selves and put together several point runs behind 14 kills (only 1 error) and a percentage of .361. Yavapai won the set by an 11 point margin (25-14). The team continued to play at a higher level in set 4 as they recorded 14 more kills. It took a whopping 52 attack attempts to manage a hitting percentage of .192. As Yavapai has done several times this year they extended the match after winning set 4 25-19, into decisive 5th set and then played their best volleyball of the match.
After a tie score of 2-2 early in the 5th set, the Roughjriders went on a 7 point scoring run behind the serving and defense of freshmen Hayley Huntsman. Th Roughriders dominated the 5th set in all aspects of the game. They knocked out 11 kills, with 0 errors on 17 attempts for match high itting percentage of .647 and won by a score of 15-6.
Othre player highlights included sophomore Iva Alebic earning another double / double as she finished with 21 kills (.288), 16 digs, and 3 service aces. Iva did all of this while celebrating her 19th birthday. Freshman Bailey Anderson finished with a team high hitting percentage of .364 (9 kills). Freshman Kaytlin Yost was second on the team with 12 kills plus she contributed 4 blocks. The top blocker was freshman Baylie Stephens with 6, plus she contributed 4 kills including match point. Sophomore setter Jordan Tilley was key to the team’s comeback as finished with 48 assists, 15 digs, 5 kills, and 1 service ace.
The win makes it 7 straight for the Roughriders and Head Coach Zach Shaver said ” Road victories are always good, winning in 5 on the road is great, but the way we have executed in those 5th sets on the road is outstanding!” The win over South Mountain CC moved Yavapai into 3rd place in the ACCAC with a conference record of 8-4 (15-9 overall). The next challenge for Yavapai will come on Wednesday as Phoenix College comes to Prescott for a 7:00 pm showdown in Walraven Gym.