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WNCC volleyball sweeps NJC Wednesday night for 34th win of season
 October 25, 2012

STERLING, Colo. — The NJCAA No. 2-rated Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team capped its regular season Wednesday with an impressive 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-20, 25-21) over Northeastern Junior College.

WNCC coach Giovana Melo, whose team won for the 34th time this season, said the Cougars played well overall but still have lots of room to improve before the regional tournament kicks off Nov. 1 in McCook.

"I think we are getting better, but we are still making some unforced errors that we should not be making," Melo said. "We need to focus on getting a little bit better for regionals."

Melo is satisfied with where the Cougars are at right now, and especially pleased to see her players buying into her system.

“We have done pretty good with the group that we have," she said. "I thought we were pretty young, and I thought it would be hard [for the players] to make changes and adjust to them. It’s a different system, but I thought we did a pretty good job of getting into that system.”

The Cougars enjoyed a balanced attack against NJC. Danika Youngblood finished with nine kills and seven kills, and Kat Agson had nine kills and two blocks. Priscila Mendes finished with seven kills and 11 digs; Yoro Tovar had five kills and two aces; Allora Tanner had four kills; and Megan Johnson and Taylor VanderWerff each had two kills.

The biggest difference in the match was service errors. WNCC had 10 and NJC had eight, but NJC's miscues came at crucial moments.

The Cougars played exceptionally well in the opening set, committing just one service error while forging ahead 14-6. Alex Rivera had three service points during WNCC’s early run.

The second set was a barn-burner as WNCC tied the set at 7-7 and again at 16-16, each on Tasha Meyer points. Meyer followed the second tie with two more points to give the Cougars their first lead of the set, and they went on to win, helped by a big Youngblood kill and thee service points by Luiza Martins.

The third set was close early. The teams were tied at 10-10 before a Tovar kill turned the momentum in WNCC’s favor. Martins then served two points to give the Cougars a 13-10 lead. NJC cut the deficit to 18-17, before a Tanner kill stopped NJC’s rally. Tanner then served two points to put the Cougars up 20-17. Agson finished off the match with a solid block.

Melo was pleased to see her players keep their composure and respond well in the final two sets.

"We’re good at coming back and playing from behind," Melo said. "But we have to be focused on the present moment and maybe not make as many errors as we did tonight. We pulled it out, but I thought we made way too many errors."

Martins finished the match with 34 assists and eight digs; Rivera had two aces, 14 digs and four points; and Meyer had three digs, two aces, and five points.

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