Yavapai closing in on No. 1 seed into regionals
Originally Published: October 15, 2015 6:02 a.m.
Yavapai College's volleyball team inched closer to clinching the No. 1 seed into the NJCAA Division 1, Region 1 playoffs and hosting the championship match in early November after a straight-games victory Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Prescott.The Roughriders won their third consecutive league match, dispatching ACCAC cellar-dweller Mesa C.C., 25-10, 25-21, 25-12, inside Walraven Gym, reducing their magic number to two.NJCAA Region 1's playoffs open Nov. 4, and conclude Nov. 6 with the Region 1 championship. The region's No. 1 seed earns a bye Nov. 4. Yavapai would need to win the championship match to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament that starts Nov. 19 in Casper, Wyoming. The Roughriders have never been to nationals since the program was established in 1972."Our goal this year, in January, was to make it to the national championships, and we knew we needed to win the region championship to do that," Yavapai coach Zach Shaver said.If Yavapai (16-5 overall, 9-1 ACCAC) beats Pima C.C. and Phoenix College on the road in the coming week, the Roughriders would clinch hosting duties for the region title match.From 1994-96, YC claimed three straight league titles when the ACCAC was comprised of one division. Since 2000, however, the conference has been split into divisions I and II, complete with separate postseason tournaments.Glendale C.C. (22-1, 10-1) leads Division II and the overall ACCAC standings. The Gauchos were upset by Scottsdale C.C., 3-2, on Wednesday, snapping a 22-match winning streak. Glendale beat Yavapai, 3-1, Oct. 2.After Wednesday's match, the 2015 Roughriders have now won 10 of their last 11 matches, including seven in conference.YC dominated D-II Mesa (4-17, 1-12), as the Roughriders played their entire roster. Yavapai hit .262 for the match while compiling 32 digs, 27 blocks and five service aces.The Roughriders will continue on in league play Friday, Oct. 16, when they battle Pima in Tucson. First serve is at 7 p.m.They will then visit Phoenix at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, before closing out the regular season with four consecutive home matches against ACCAC D-I foes Arizona Western (Oct. 23 and 24), Eastern Arizona (Oct. 28) and Central Arizona (Oct. 30).Paige Hamilton fifth Yavapai spiker to garner ACCAC player of week honors in 2015For the fifth time in seven weeks of league action this season, a Roughriders' volleyball player was named the ACCAC's Division I Player of the Week.On Monday, Yavapai's Paige Hamilton took top honors for her play during the week of Oct. 4. Hamilton is the fifth different YC spiker to earn the honor."It's a testament to having an all-around team effort," Shaver said.In YC's wins over Eastern Arizona Oct. 7, and Central Arizona Oct. 9, Hamilton notched 19 kills and 11 blocks, eight of which came against Central, and compiled a stellar .500 hitting percentage.Entering Wednesday's match versus Mesa, Hamilton had tallied a total of 124 kills and a .286 hitting percentage to go along with 62 blocks this season. She is also listed among the conference's top 10 players in hitting percentage and blocks.What follows is a list of the Roughriders who have garnered the league's Player of the Week award during the 2015 season, in chronological order. Aug. 31: Iva Alebic, 6-foot-1 freshman outside hitter (Obermaiselstein, Germany); currently ranked No. 2 in NJCAA Division I in kills per set with 4.76. Sept. 8: Brooke Donnelly, 5-1 sophomore libero (Costa Mesa, California). Sept. 28: Jordan Tilley, 5-9 freshman setter (Ashland, Oregon). Oct. 5: Kelsey Park, 5-10 sophomore outside hitter (Mesa). Oct. 12: Paige Hamilton, 5-10 sophomore middle blocker (Phoenix).