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Your Weekly Yavapai College Sports News

Volleyball Falls in Mesa

The Yavapai College volleyball team continued its four-game road trip on Friday night in Mesa, Arizona, and eventually fell to the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds in four sets to move its overall record to 4-9 and conference record to 2-3. 

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In set one, the Roughriders made several comebacks as they trailed 12-8 early on, only to have an ace from freshman middle blocker Ella Simon tie things up. 

Trailing 16-12 later in the set, the Roughriders eventually fought all the way back after a kill from Simon gave them a 20-19 lead and one which they would not surrender as they went on to win set one by a score of 25-23. 

Set two got off to a hot start for YC as it built an 8-4 lead, however, the Thunderbirds went on a 13-5 run to take control and build a four-point lead (17-13). The Roughriders would eventually cut the deficit to 21-18, however, lost set two by a score of 25-22. 

Despite good blocking from sophomore middle blocker Keyaira Gravitt and a remarkable play to salvage a point from sophomore libero Naomi Glasker, the Roughriders trailed for much of set three and eventually fell 25-20. 

Needing a victory to force a winner-take-all fifth set, Yavapai took a timeout while trailing 20-15 in set four and came out of the break with great energy to tie the set up at 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23. 

Unfortunately for the Riders, the Thunderbirds were able to take the final two points and took home the 25-23 set victory and 3-1 match victory. 

Up Next

The Roughriders are back in action on Friday, October 7, in Yuma, Arizona, where they will face the Arizona Western College Matadors with gametime set for 7 p.m. 

Yavapai Athletics Inducts 2022 Hall of Fame Class During Alumni Weekend

Last weekend, Yavapai College welcomed its alumni back to campus, hosted home volleyball and soccer games, inducted its 2022 Athletics Hall of Fame Class and hosted its annual golf classic to go along with other activities around its campuses for alumni weekend. 

The events kicked off on Friday night, September 23, inside of Walraven Gymnasium where the Yavapai College volleyball team swept Phoenix College in its first home win of the season. 

On Saturday, the festivities continued inside of Walraven Gymnasium as it was transformed into a dining hall for the Hall of Fame brunch which drew roughly 150 attendees. The guests mingled, were served delicious food and then listened to the Hall of Famers give their induction speeches. 

Up first was Michele (Vickrey) Shuey who played basketball at YC from 1991-93. Following her was Casper Ware who also played basketball at YC from 1979-81. 

Next up were the teams that were inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame: the 1979-80 men’s basketball team (finished fourth at the national tournament) and the 1992 men’s soccer team (won the second national championship in program history). 

Legendary men’s soccer coach Mike Pantalione then spoke on behalf of his induction to close out the class, highlighting each player from the 1992 team that was in attendance with anecdotes of their playing days. 

Seemingly done with the inductions, Yavapai College’s Vice President of Community Relations and Student Development Rodney Jenkins then took the stage to give the closing speech. 

In closing, Mr. Jenkins thanked all who made the weekend possible, encouraged those in attendance to become a part of the great things that are happening at YC and shocked the crowd with a surprise addition to the 2022 Hall of Fame Class for YC Athletics: current Director of Athletics Brad Clifford. 

Clifford, a Roughrider student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach, assistant athletic director and current athletic director, took the stage in shock and bewilderment with his wife, Mindy, daughters, Randee, Annie and McKell, and granddaughter, Vada.

Clifford thanked Mr. Jenkins for the generosity and recognition and then expressed gratitude to all those in attendance and stated his classic line: “I really do bleed Roughrider green and gold”. 

All achievements and accolades for the most recent inductees into the YC Athletics Hall of Fame can be found here on the Hall of Fame page. 

After the brunch, fans headed over to Ken Lindley Field where the Yavapai College men’s and women’s soccer teams dismantled the South Mountain Community College Cougars with the men winning 9-0 and women winning 12-0. 

On Sunday, staff, alumni and fans shot a round of golf at Antelope Hills Golf Course in what turned out to be a sold-out success. At the event, YC thanked all players and donors for their generosity and participation, to close out the weekend. 

The first-place winners at the golf tournament were Tom McCullough, Andrew Baird, Joe Baynes and Tim Legler. The longest drive was shot by Jermaine McKinney and the closest to the pin was Joe Baynes. 

“What a weekend,” said Clifford. “I want to thank everyone that made this weekend happen: the leadership team, facilities, the foundation, athletics, everyone who traveled into town to be a part of this and the countless other people who pitched in. This was a great weekend and I am proud to be a Roughrider.”

Volleyball Battles Eastern Arizona To Five Sets

THATCHER, Ariz. – The Yavapai College volleyball team headed south on Wednesday night for a matchup against the Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters who are currently receiving votes in the NJCAA DI Volleyball Rankings. 

In their first region action of the season, the Roughriders battled all the way to the end, only to suffer a narrow five-set defeat against Eastern Arizona to bring their overall record to 4-8 and conference record to 2-2. 

In set one, freshman outside hitter Abby Whatton tallied a kill and was followed by an ace from freshman setter Anna Bolich to tie things up at 6-6. From there, it was all EAC as the Gila Monsters went up 18-10 and eventually won 25-15. 

The second set of the night saw a red-hot start from YC as it raced out to a 6-0 lead, forcing an EAC timeout. The teams then went back-and-forth until the Gila Monsters tied things up at 22-22. 

After the tie, sophomore middle blocker Keyaira Gravitt spiked one into the ground for a 23-22 lead, paving the way for a 25-22 Roughrider win, tying the match score at 1-1. 

Set three was close the entire way as the teams found themselves tied at 9-9, before EAC started to gain some momentum and kept a three-point lead for most of the set. Sophomore outside hitter Kate Allan then started to get hot and tallied a big kill to cut the deficit to just 21-19. 

From there, the Gila Monsters took a 24-19 lead and eventually won set three with a score of 25-21. 

With their backs against the wall in set four, the Roughriders fought back, as they did throughout the night. Up 8-4, the aforementioned Whatton aced one over the net, forcing EAC to take a timeout. 

Things didn’t get any easier from there for Eastern Arizona as later in the set, Whatton tallied back-to-back-to-back kills to give YC a 20-14 lead while forcing another timeout. The big lead proved to be enough for YC to take the set 25-21, forcing a winner-take-all fifth set. 

In set five, the teams went back-and-forth and the Roughriders got huge kills from Whatton, Gravitt and Allan down the stretch. 

As fate would have it, this incredible battle came down to a 15-15 tie with each team needing to beat the other by two points to secure the victory. Unfortunately for the Roughriders, the Gila Monsters were able to convert two consecutive points for the 17-15 set victory and 3-2 match victory. 

The Roughriders will face the Gila Monsters two more times this season in what will surely be entertaining matches. Both will take place in Prescott, Arizona, inside of Walraven Gymnasium. 

Up Next

The Roughriders are back in action on Friday, September 30, in Mesa, Arizona, where they will face the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds with gametime set for 7 p.m.

Women’s Soccer Wins Thriller Against Paradise Valley

In an intense battle on Tuesday night at Ken Lindley Field, the Yavapai College women’s soccer team prevailed with a 4-2 victory over the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas to push its win streak to five games, conference record to 5-0 and overall record to 6-4. 

“It was a great battle tonight,” Head Coach Rozie DeWeese said. “Being down 2-1 and continuing to play with an aggressive attacking mentality and with confidence was fun to watch. Our team played well and the energy was high everywhere. Hanna’s hat trick was also big time tonight!

“I also loved the youth players cheering us on from the stands. We love the community support and it definitely played a positive part in our success tonight.”

A thriller from start to finish, the first big play of the match came from the Roughriders as sophomore forward Hanna Urtado fought through a couple of Puma defenders before shooting the ball past the PVCC goalkeeper to the far side for her fourth score of the season while giving YC a 1-0 lead. 

Momentum then began to wear a Paradise Valley jersey as the Pumas tallied the next two goals and led 2-1 with 15 minutes to go in the first half. Despite a plethora of scoring opportunities throughout the rest of the half, including a header off the crossbar, the Roughriders went into halftime trailing 2-1. 

Coming out of the break, YC continued its aggressive play, pushing the ball relentlessly up the field while looking for scoring opportunities. The strategy paid off immediately as sophomore forward (and reigning ACCAC Player of the Week) AJ Jones tied the match up with just over two minutes played in the second half. 

On a rush, Jones received a pass from freshman forward Julie Reyes and then placed a perfect shot to the upper-left corner of the goal to beat the PVCC keeper and tie the match at 2-2. 

Now tied at 2-2, the Roughriders needed some elite goalkeeping to keep the Puma offense at bay and they received just that from reigning ACCAC Goalkeeper of the Week Morgan Trail. 

With just over 30 minutes left in the match after end-to-end action, Trail faced a breakaway attempt from PVCC and made a nice leaping save to preserve the 2-2 tie. 

With time dwindling down, the Roughriders sensed their opportunity to complete the comeback and began to take control of the possession and finally broke through with 11 minutes to go. 

After a throw-in, Jones touched a ball over to Urtado who almost repeated her first goal of the night as she beat a couple of defenders and beat the PVCC goalkeeper to her far side, giving the Roughriders a 3-2 lead and sending the Ken Lindley crowd into a frenzy with her second goal of the night and fifth goal of the season. 

With the lead, the Roughriders once again turned to Trail as she made an incredible diving save to her right just 10 seconds after the go-ahead goal. With under 10 minutes left in the match, Trail made another highlight-reel save on a breakaway with a full-extension dive to her right to maintain the one-goal lead. 

With the lead and Trail completely locked in, Urtado added some final fireworks to the night with four minutes left to play as she completed the hat trick with her third goal of the night after Jones got the ball to her from a corner kick. Urtado corralled the ball, made a move and found the back of the net to put the dagger in the contest and bring the match to its final of 4-2. 

For Urtado, she now leads the team in goals with six after tonight’s hat trick. Jones also tallied four points on the night with a goal and two assists and Trail finished the night with a victory in goal and six saves. 

Up Next

The Roughriders are back in action on Saturday, October 1, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, at Mountain Valley Park where they will take on the GateWay Community College Geckos with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

Men’s Soccer Breezes Past Paradise Valley

After a nine-goal effort in its last match, the Yavapai College men’s soccer team put up seven goals on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon at Ken Lindley Field where the Roughriders cruised to a 7-0 victory over the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas. 

The win pushes the squad’s overall record to 5-2 and conference record to 3-1. 

In net, freshman goalkeeper Rushon Sandy took home the victory and shutout on the night with four saves made as well. 

While the offense put seven balls in the opponent’s net, it was the defense that set the tone in the start of the match. 

Ten minutes into the contest, sophomore defender Jakob Larson headed a cross pass out of harm’s way that would have otherwise given a Puma forward a clean scoring chance right at the front of the net. Five minutes later, the aforementioned Sandy made an incredible save, diving to his left to push away a header attempt from PVCC. 

With the defense having already made a statement, it was time for the offense to take charge and it started 20 minutes into the match when sophomore forward Iann Topete fed a ball to freshman midfielder Austin Pearcy who then deposited it into the back of the Puma net for his first score of the season and a 1-0 YC lead. 

Ten minutes later, sophomore forward Joey Vega flashed some nice moves, weaved through three defenders and beat the Paradise Valley goalkeeper for his fourth score of the season and a 2-0 YC lead. 

30 seconds after Vega’s score, it was Topete time as the sophomore headed in a beautiful cross pass off the foot of Pearcy for his team-leading eighth goal of the season and a 3-0 YC lead. 

With less than 10 minutes to play in the first half, sophomore midfielder Andrew Del Giudice lined up for a free kick from about 35 yards out and sent a bullet to the upper-left corner of the Paradise Valley net to score his fourth goal of the season while giving the Roughriders a 4-0 lead. 

After taking a 4-0 lead into halftime, it was Topete time just 90 seconds into the second half as the sophomore found a loose ball and smoked it past the goalkeeper for his ninth score of the season while bringing the score to 5-0. 

Shortly after scoring, Topete assisted on a goal after his shot caromed off the PVCC goalkeeper and was collected by sophomore midfielder Michal Mojzis who put the rebound in the net for his second goal of the year and a 6-0 lead. 

The last goal of the night was scored by freshman defender Logan Phipps who collected a loose ball and placed a perfect shot to the far side of the net for his second score of the year, bringing the game to its final of 7-0. 

Overall, Topete once again led the Roughriders on the scoresheet with two goals and two assists for a total of six points on the day. 

Up Next

The Roughriders are back in action on Saturday, October 1, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, at Mountain Valley Park where they will take on the GateWay Community College Geckos with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m.

Roughrider Women’s Soccer Sweeps Weekly ACCAC Awards

For the second time this season, the Yavapai College women’s soccer team has swept the ACCAC weekly awards the conference office announced Tuesday. This time, sophomore forward AJ Jones takes home ACCAC Player of the Week honors while freshman goalkeeper Morgan Trail takes home ACCAC Goalkeeper of the Week honors. 

For Trail, it’s her second ACCAC weekly honor this season while it’s Jones’ first. Overall, they are the fourth and fifth Roughriders to earn the honors during the 2022-23 athletic year with all five being from the women’s soccer squad. 

The duo helped lead the Roughriders to two victories last week: a 1-0 overtime victory on the road against Mesa and a 12-0 blowout of South Mountain at home. 

Jones tallied the aforementioned overtime winner against the Thunderbirds and added a goal and an assist against South Mountain for a total of five points on the week. Overall, she has three goals, two assists and eight points on the season. 

Trail took home the win and shutout against Mesa and also didn’t allow a goal in her 33 minutes of action against South Mountain. Overall, she has five wins, two shutouts and 46 saves on the season. 

The duo and the rest of the Roughriders are back in action later today (September 27) in Prescott, Arizona, at Ken Lindley Field where they will face the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

Volleyball Begins Road Trip

The Yavapai College volleyball team kicks off a four-game road trip with contests on Wednesday and Friday night this week. 

The Games

The Roughriders first travel to Thatcher, Arizona, on Wednesday, September 28, for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters. Then, on Friday, September 30, YC faces off against the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds in Mesa, Arizona, with gametime also set for 7 p.m.

If the games are live streamed, the links will be available on GoRoughriders.com/Live. 

The Gila Monsters

Eastern Arizona comes into its matchup with YC at 15-5 overall and 3-0 in conference play while riding a four-game win streak. 

The Thunderbirds

Mesa comes into its matchup with YC at 2-6 overall and 2-4 in conference play. Before their match with Yavapai, the Thunderbirds will play Chandler-Gilbert on Wednesday. 

The Roughriders

After sweeping Phoenix College on alumni weekend, the Roughriders head into their weekend of volleyball with a 4-7 overall record and 2-1 conference record. 

Player To Watch

Sophomore libero Naomi Glasker leads the Roughriders in digs with 182 and has logged 20-or-more digs in a match three times this season. 

One Last Thing

Wednesday’s match with the Gila Monsters will be YC’s first region competition of the season and is the first of three meetings between the teams.

– D.J. Irwin

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