WNCC SWEPT IN NATIONAL TITLE MATCH
WEST PLAINS, Mo. The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team had hopes of bringing home another national title, but it wasn’t in the cards as the Cougars had to settle for a runner-up finish at the NJCAA national tournament on Saturday in West Plains, Mo.
College of Southern Idaho played an almost flawless contest in earning the national championship with a sweep over the Cougars 25-20, 25-21, 25-20.
The Golden Eagles finished the season with a 33-1 record with their only loss coming to the Cougars back on Aug. 31.
“Obviously we fought as hard as we could, but it didn’t seem to be our night,” fifth year WNCC coach Giovana Melo said. “But I am happy with the team. We have come a long ways and the players learned so many other things besides on the volleyball court and that is what I am so much proud of. The people they have become, the family we have created is more important to me than winning a national title.”
The WNCC players need not be upset with a runner-up finish with the season they had. The Cougars finished with s another 40-win season and they have the longest streak of attending the national tournament at 14 straight.
Luiza Martins and Danika Youngblood each put in stellar performances to be placed on the all-tournament team. In the championship match, Martins finished with 27 set assists and eight digs, while Youngblood 11 kills and six digs.
Youngblood, who already committed to play at Cal State-Bakersfield and will join former Cougars Debora Araujo and Fernanda Goncalves, cherished being a part of the all-tournament team.
“That honor feels good because I was working on it all season and I wanted to be a part of that just because I saw Debora and Fernanda get it last year,” she said. “And as a player, I wanted to work for that also.”
WNCC also had plenty of outstanding performances during the tournament. Saturday night in the championship match, the Cougars just couldn’t buy a break as Southern Idaho was on the top of its game.
9th Place MSU-West Plains over Temple, 20-25, 25-11, 25-14, 25-18
7th Place Hillsborough CC over North Idaho, 25-23, 25-20, 29-27
5th Place Tyler JC over Central Florida, 25-14, 25-21, 25-18
3rd Place San Jacinto over Iowa Western, 23-25, 28-26, 25-13, 25-22
Championship Southern Idaho over Western Nebraska, 25-20, 25-20, 25-21