WNCC volleyball team captures 12th straight win

Andrea Tsvetanova dives and gets a hand on the ball for a save during WNCC’s match with Otero Junior College Saturday afternoon. WNCC won it’s 12th straight with the four-set win over the Rattlers.

Karen Cordero finished with 21 kills and Leslie Mamai-Lagafuaina added 15 kills as the Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team remained unbeaten in South conference action with a four-set win over Otero Junior College Saturday afternoon at Cougar Palace.

WNCC moves to 23-5 on the season with their 12th straight win. The Cougars are now 6-0 in conference action, a full two games ahead of the second-place teams.

WNCC coach Binny Canales said his team played well.

“Otero is a good team. They pass well. They attack well. They are well coached, and they have a great setter and they fight,” Canales said. “We had to step up to the plate and fight back. It was a great match and a lot of fun.”

WNCC won the first two sets, including an easier second set 25-18. The third set the Cougars sputtered before winning the fourth. Canales said it was good for the team to be pushed like that as they will need that kind of push from other teams come regional tournament time and even nationals.

What the match had to offer, especially in the third and fourth set, was defensive play from both teams with players getting to balls that normally would have fallen for a point with scrappy, heads-up play.

WNCC had a pair of players finish with double-digit digs. Ana Costas and Adia Sherbeyn each had 11 digs in the match. Arianna Mitchell chipped in six digs, while Mamai-Lagafuaina had six, and Gabriela Canavati had five.

While the defense was playing strong, the offense was putting balls down as well. Cordero tallied 21 kills. The freshman from California also had nine points, two aces, and four digs. Mamai-Lagafuaina had 15 kills along with three solo blocks, five digs, and six points.

Canavati pounded home eight kills while also tallying five points and two aces. La’Treva Kennedy finished with six kills, Luisa Beining had four, and Andrea Tsvetanova had three. Tsvetanova also had 36 set assists, four digs, and two points.

Costas finished with a double-double with 19 points to go with her 11 digs. Olivia Transfiguracion had 11 set assists.

WNCC will look to remain unbeaten in conference play when they face Northeastern Junior College on Monday at 6 p.m. in a game that was postponed from earlier in the month. Monday’s contest will be PAWZitivily Pink night for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Individuals are encouraged to wear pink to show their support for all the Beast Cancer Survivors, who will be granted free admission to Monday’s game.

“We will have film tomorrow and practice tomorrow [Sunday],” Canales said. “Practice won’t be real hard; we just want to stay sharp. We know every time we play NJC it is a battle.”

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