WNCC SWEEPS NJC TO CLAIM SOUTH SUB-REGION CROWN

Posted 12 months ago

By John Axtell

  WNCC VB 2013 team -1STERLING, Colo. – Third-ranked Western Nebraska Community College use phenomenal defense, including a number of pancake saves, in capturing the South sub-region volleyball title in impressive fashion Wednesday evening, sweeping #20 Northeastern Junior College 25-13, 25-9. 25-17.

                The Cougars finished the South Sub-region with a perfect 10-0 record. On top of that, it was the first time since 2007 that the Cougars have swept all their sub-region contests, winning all 30 sets.

                WNCC sophomore Lindsay Wehkamp, who finished the contest with six kills including a back row save for a point, was pleased with the team’s sub-region achievements.

“It means a lot to us {to not lose a set],” Wehkamp said “It shows a lot that we are not going to give up and we are going to keep going. That is our plan.”

The Cougars played their best two matches of the season against Northeastern Junior College, first beating the Plainswomen at Cougar Palace on Friday and then once again at Sterling, Colo. Wehkamp said they are preparing themselves for post-season action.

“Our game plan tonight was to come out strong,” she said. “We wanted to take total control right from the beginning so NJC wouldn’t have get confidence.”

A big factor in the Cougars’ win Wednesday was great defense. Wehkamp and head coach Giovana Melo couldn’t give the exact number of pancake saves they had on the night, but it was plenty. In the third set along during 19th point, the Cougars had three pancake saves in that rally to get the point off a Leticia Silva kill. Wehkamp said the defense was phenomenal tonight.

“We had so many good saves tonight,” she said. “Everyone was on their game and hustling and had that killer instinct to win.”

Serving was another key aspect in the contest. NJC committed four service errors in the first set and then had another three in the third set. The Plainswomen had only a couple service runs of more than two runs.

And it was that precision serving that jumpstarted the Cougars early as Luiza Martins, Priscila Mendes and Rachel McCracken served the Cougars to a 9-2 lead. That was when NJC coach Jessica Squier used her second timeout of the first set.

WNCC continued it strong play in rolling to the 25-13 first set win.

WNCC didn’t let up in the second set as Mendes served six straight points to put WNCC up 6-1. Later, Martins had four points for a 17-7 lead and Wehkamp served the final five points to give the Cougars the 25-9 win.

Martins, Mendes, and Wehkamp served the Cougars to an 11-2 third set lead. WNCC pushed the lead to 13-4 and 15-6 before the Plainswomen mounted a comeback, slicing the lead to 15-11. WNCC kept strong and put the game away on a huge Allora Tanner kill and then a service point by Morgan Broussard.

Mendes paced the Cougars with a double-double of 10 kills, 13 points and six digs. Allora Tanner had six kills; Leticia Silva had four kills and three blocks; Wehkamp six kills, two blocks, two digs, and five points; Gabriela Varela had seven kills; Broussard had nine set assists, four digs, a kill, and five points; McCracken had 11 digs, two aces, three set assists, and five points; Erika Goodwin had three digs, a kill, and three points; and Martins had 14 set assists, four digs, and 14 points.

WNCC, 34-3, will be off until the Region IX South tournament set to begin Nov. 7 in Trinidad, Colo. Wehkamp said she is hoping they continue playing like they have the past two matches.

“We really have been working on staying consistent and focusing in every single game,” she said. “I think these last two games we really showed that. Our main goal so our mentality coming in here tonight was [win] and go home.”