College Volleyball: Roughriders sweep cross-town rival Eagles 3-0
Yavapai claims 6th straight win, eyes stretch run
Bailey Anderson recorded nine kills and four block assists, Kaitlyn Yost added nine kills and the Yavapai College volleyball team swept cross-town rival Embry-Riddle 3-0 on Wednesday night.
It is the sixth straight win for the Roughriders, which earned their first sweep (25-15, 25-22, 25-19) over the Eagles in the annual Cross-Town Battle Against Breast Cancer event’s history.
Yavapai head coach Zach Shaver said after Wednesday’s exhibition that this was Embry-Riddle’s toughest squad to date, so if the Roughriders came out with a victory, it would provide a much-needed confidence boost moving forward.
“They’ve recruited, they’ve developed, and this is the best they’ve been,” Shaver said about the Eagles. “That shows us something, and where we are right now to beat the best Embry-Riddle team in the last four or five years.”
Yavapai (11-8, 6-1 ACCAC) won only six of its first 14 matches to begin the season. But since claiming a 3-2 thriller over ACCAC foe Arizona Western College three weeks ago, the Roughriders haven’t lost a match, much less a game during the streak, sweeping their last five opponents.
“We knew coming in they were a pretty tough team, and we beat them in three. That shows how much we’ve improved this season,” Yost said about the Eagles, adding the Roughriders are beginning to realize how far they can go this season.
“If we can beat this team, we can get anywhere,” Yost said.
Anderson, a former Prescott Badger standout, recorded a match-high .375 hitting percentage. She believes the Roughriders can be tough down the stretch if they “keep doing what we’re doing.”
“We’ve had a little bit of a struggle in our serve-receive transition, this game helped us out with that. They are a big-hitting team and we did OK,” Anderson said.
Other standouts for the Roughriders included Jailynn Butler, who had nine kills and two digs, while Nynke DeVries led all attackers with 13 kills and six digs. Kanani Hiapo led Yavapai with 36 assists.
When asked if other teams from the ACCAC are overlooking the Roughriders this season, Shaver pointed out the Roughriders don’t have a superstar.
“When you look at stats, we’re not impressive. We don’t have an all-star standout that we have to go to all the time,” Shaver said. “Our hitting percentage needs to improve and we work on that daily. We don’t have any glaring weaknesses that a team can pick on.”
Yavapai enters the final stretch of the regular season with five matches to play, the first of which comes Friday, Oct. 6, against Arizona Western in Yuma. Official start time is 7 p.m.
Embry-Riddle (16-3, 6-0 Cal-Pac) welcomes Ottawa University-Arizona on Friday at 6 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is associate sports editor and a columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.