The 6th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team took care of business over the weekend as they swept a pair of Region IX South contests on Friday and Saturday.
The Cougars opened the weekend with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-22 win over Trinidad State College and then swept past Otero College 25-7, 25-18, 25-21 to stay unbeaten in conference play and move their record to 24-3 on the season.
It was the Cougars’ seventh straight win as they head into a conference match on Wednesday when they travel to McCook Community College.
Saturday saw Shanelle Martinez register a triple-double in helping the Cougars to the sweep. Martinez finished with 26 points, 34 set assists, 14 digs, three aces, and a kill.
The match started early as Martinez served up 10 straight points for a 10-0 lead. The Cougars pushed the lead to 13-1 after two AK Chavez points and then went up 17-3 after two Ale Meoni kills.
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WNCC led 20-7 when Erica Fava hammered down a kill and Martinez served the final four points for the 25-7 win.
The second and third sets were much closer. The second set saw Otero trail 9-8 and later 13-11 before the Cougars started to put some distance in the score when Fava had two points for a 16-11 lead. WNCC won 25-18 after three Chavez points.
The third set saw Otero lead 8-3 before a kill from Jenna Curtis and then three Alex Hernandez points to tie the contest at 8-8. Otero kept playing strong as the Rattlers led 16-15 and later 20-18 and 21-19. Emmalei Mapu got a kill and then Martinez closed out the match with five points.
After Martinez’ triple double, Fava and Curtis each had 11 kills. Fava also had six digs and two assisted blocks, while Curtis had eight digs.
Meoni hammered down seven kills to go with her two points, while Mapu had five kills, five assisted blocks, and three digs.
Also for the Cougars, Chavez had 12 digs with seven points, five set assists, and two aces; Juliana Oliveira had four kills; Hernandez had three kills and four points; Bewley had a dig; and Paige Nakanelua had two digs.
In Friday’s win over Trinidad State, the Cougars had strong serving in the first set as well. The Cougars started Friday’s contest strong as Meoni served nine straight points for a 12-2 lead and the Cougars led 17-5 after three Jenna Curtis points. WNCC pushed the lead to 20-6 on a Mapu kill and two Martinez points and won the first set 25-12 on a Curtis kill.
The second set was a little scarier as Trinidad took a 7-3 lead after three service points. Maya Angelova tied the set with a kill and then two service points. Trinidad came back to grab a 10-7 lead before Martinez had four service points, including two aces for a 12-10 lead. Meoni later added three more service points and a 19-13 lead.
Trinidad came back and cut the Cougars’ lead to 19-18, but a missed serve gave the service back to WNCC and Angelova had two points for a 22-18 lead and then Jayla Brehmer closed out the second set with two ace serves and the 25-20 win.
Chavez started the third set for WNCC with four straight points and a 5-1 lead. WNCC pushed the lead to 13-6 on four points from Charli Blackman. Trinidad tried coming back in cutting the lead to 20-17, but Chavez served two points for a 23-17 lead and then the Cougars won the match 25-22.
WNCC only had three players with a double-figure statistic. Martinez had 27 set assists along with four digs, six points, and two aces. Fava had 11 kills with eight digs and two points, while Meoni had 12 points with two aces, three kills, and three assisted blocks.
Also for the Cougars, Curtis had four kills, four points, and five digs; Angelova had three kills, four points, and two assisted blocks; Hernandez had four kills; Mapu had three kills; and Oliveira had three kills and two assisted blocks.
The Cougars also got two points, two aces and a kill from Brehmer, while Blackman had four digs and four points. Chavez finished with seven digs; Nakanelua had three digs; Shae Hardy had an assist with a dig; Angel Nahinu had a kill, and Autumn Bennett had an assisted block.
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