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WNCC volleyball sweeps CSI, North West

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4th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball bounced back from its first loss of the season on Friday night to earn two sweeps on Saturday on the final day of the Crystal “Inn” vitaional at Salt Lake Community College.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – All 4eRanked Western Nebraska Community College Volleyball rebounded from its first loss of the season on Friday night to earn a pair of sweeps on Saturday on the final day of the Crystal “Inn” vitaional at Salt Lake Community College.

The Cougars opened the day with an impressive sweep of the College of Southern Idaho 25-21, 25-18, 25-16 behind a double-double 15 kill, 10 point performance from Jenna Curtis.

The WNCC was even more impressive in the sweep over Northwest College to wrap up the tournament 3-1 with the 25-9, 25-18, 25-21 win over the Trappers behind a 17-point performance from Ale Meoni.

The WNCC finished the tournament at 3-1, which was the same as Salt Lake Community College and the College of Southern Idaho. Salt Lake was swept by Northeastern Junior College on Saturday, while the WNCC handed CSI its only loss of the tournament. Utah State-Eastern finished the tournament 4-0.

Several members of the WNCC team were named to the All-Tournament Team as well as special awards. Anakaren Chavez was named Libero of the Tournament while Erica Fava was named MVP of the Tournament.

Besides Chavez and Fava, other members of the tournament team included Haley McUne and Casidy Fried of Utah State-Eastern, Gabby Oos of NJC, Alizaysha Sopi of CSI and Laura Fiabane and Charity Wilson of Salt Lake.

The WNCC is now 10-1 this season and will seek victory number 11 when they face Eastern Wyoming College on Wednesday in Torrington, Wyoming.

Saturday’s opener with Southern Idaho was impressive early on as Curtis served four runs for a 5-0 lead. CSI came back to take a 12-10 lead. Curtis stopped the Golden Eagles’ run, then Shanelle Martinez had three service points to put the WNCC ahead 14-12.

The first set remained tough as the two teams were tied at 18-18 before the WNCC took a 22-19 lead behind a service point from Alex Hernandez. WNCC took a 24-20 lead over an Emmalei Mapu kill and won the first set 25-21.

The second set saw the set tied at 8-8 before WNCC forged ahead 18-13 behind two points from Erica Fava. The WNCC led 20-14 on a point from Hernandez and Curtis killed and won 25-18 on a point from Anakaren Chavez.

The third set saw the WNCC lead from start to finish as the Cougars took a 5-1 lead on back-to-back ace serves from Chavez. The Cougars took a 12-3 lead after four Fava points and led 17-7 after two Curtis points. The WNCC led 23-12 after a kill and a service point from Charli Blackman and won the game 25-16 on a service point from Juliana Oliveira and the game-ending kill by Sandy, Utah, native Autumn Bennett.

Curtis led the Cougars with 15 kills, 10 points and three digs. Meoni and Fava each managed six victories. Fava also had six digs. Mapu had five kills, three solo blocks and two assist blocks, while Blackman and Oliveira each had two kills.

Martinez had 36 assists with five points while Chavez had six digs and four points.

The WNCC came out on fire in the final game against Region IX foe Northwest College. The Cougars led 19-4 before Northwest made a slight comeback to 19-8. It was short-lived as Olivera made a four-point service run for a 24-8 lead and won the set 25-9 on a Mapu kill.

Martinez started the second set with four straight points including a pair of aces. Northwest cut the lead to 5-3, but Chavez followed with four points for a 10-3 lead. The Trappers stayed in the game as they cut the Cougars’ lead to 17-16. Mapu stopped the momentum with a kill, then Chavez served three points for a 21-16 lead. WNCC won the set 25-18.

The third set saw the WNCC leading 7-3 after a Fava kill and two Meoni runs. WNCC led 12-5 on three service points from Oliveira. Northwest tried to come back, cutting the lead to 17-14 and later to 20-16, but a kill from Curtis and then a point from Lexi Keohi made it 22-16.

Northwest came back to cut the lead to 22-19, but Jayla Brehmer killed 24-19 before the WNCC won 25-21.

Fava led the Cougars with 11 kills and five points. Curtis had eight kills with five points, while Meoni had three kills, five aces and 17 points.

Also for the Cougars, Martinez had 25 assists, four points, four digs and two solo blocks; Chavez had eight points and five digs; and Olivera had two kills and eight points.

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