Pima volleyball edges Yavapai College
The Pima Community College volleyball team (10-8, 5-3 in ACCAC) played a tightly contested match on Friday, and the Aztecs found another gear to beat Yavapai College (8-10, 2-3) at the West Campus Aztec Gymnasium.
The Aztecs rallied after dropping the first set and went on to defeat the Roughriders in four sets, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23. The match featured 24 ties and 12 lead changes.
The first set showcased what was in store for both teams as neither held a lead larger than three points. The Aztecs took their biggest advantage at 16-13 but the Roughriders rallied off four straight points to take the lead. Tied at 22-22, Yavapai scored the final three points to take the lead in the match.
The Aztecs took an early 4-0 lead in the second set but the Roughriders claimed the next six straight points. Yavapai held on to a slim lead but the Aztecs tied it at 15-15 after sophomore Kaylee Moseley’s (Marana HS) block. Yavapai went up 20-17 but Pima got three straight kills from sophomores Jessica Bright-Schade (Safford HS), Andrea Vigil-German (Ironwood Ridge HS) and Deanna Almaguer. Bright-Schade had an ace on the ensuing serve to put the Aztecs up 21-20. The Aztecs scored eight of the final nine points to tie the set at 1-1.
It was Yavapai’s turn to take an early lead in the third set but the Aztecs quickly rallied and broke the set wide open. Up 9-8, the Aztecs went on to score 11 of the next 15 points to take their biggest lead of the match at 20-12. The Roughriders closed the gap to 20-17 which forced Pima to call timeout. The Aztecs scored five straight points to close out the set. Vigil-German had two straight aces to put the Aztecs up 2-1 in the match.
The Roughriders took their biggest lead of the match early in the fourth set at five points on three occasions. Trailing 11-6, the Aztecs rallied again with nine of the next 11 points to take a 15-13 lead. The Roughriders looked to force a tie-breaking set as they took a 23-19 lead but the Aztecs closed it out scoring six straight points to secure the win. Vigil-German had three kills during that stretch.
Coach’s Quote: “I felt like our determination made a big difference tonight,” Pima volleyball coach Dan Bithell said. “There were certainly some times where we could have let go and things gone away from us but we continued to look to each other and stay together in some big moments.
“I felt we did a great job of making adjustments. Yavapai is always a tough opponent and I am very proud of our efforts tonight.”
Vigil-German finished the match with a team-high 17 kills to go along with 16 digs, two aces and two blocks. Moseley closed it out with 14 kills and six blocks while Bright-Schade posted 13 kills and 13 digs.
Sophomore Aydalis Felix (Rincon HS) had a team-high 35 digs. Sophomore Karla Soto (Nogales HS) had 24 assists, 12 digs, three aces and three kills. Fellow sophomore Isabella Jacome finished with 20 assists and eight digs and sophomore Haley Duncan (Walden Grove HS) had seven blocks and three kills.
The Aztecs play at South Mountain Community College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.