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Six WNCC volleyball players recognized by OWH on All-Nebraska JUCO team

Six WNCC volleyball players recognized by OWH on All-Nebraska JUCO team
In-state postseason honors for WNCC volleyball team.

The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team had six players recognized by the Omaha World Herald on their All-Nebraska JUCO volleyball team recently.

Barbara Briceno, who was a first team NJCAA all-American and AVCA all-American, was named honorary co-caption along with Central-Columbus’ Riley Dorn.

Briceno was just one of four Cougars to be recognized on the first team while two others received honorable mention status.

Briceno, sophomore Lara Picht, and freshman Brooke Kaawa were named as hitters on the JUCO all-Nebraska team. Freshman Bia Berti was named the setter on the team.

Gering’s Kaylee Spreier, a sophomore, and freshman libero Genesis Benitez were named honorable mention.

Briceno, who was a 2-time NJCAA All-American, led the nation with 639 kills and was fifth in kills per set at 4.15. She also tallied 2.86 digs per set with 51 aces, 61 blocks, and 33 set assists. Her 639 kills this season are the eighth most in school history, passing Fatima Balza. Balza went on to play at Penn State, helping the Nittany Lions to two national titles.

Picht finished the season with 529 kills with a 3.44 kill per set average. Picht also tallied 293 digs and had 28 ace serves. Picht was named to the NJCAA all-tournament team.

Kaawa was All-Region IX South and a member of the Region IX South all-tournament team. Kaawa finished with 357 kills with 261 digs and 23 ace serves.

Berti was one of the nation’s leading Division I setters. Berti finished with 1,610 set assists for a 10.51 average. She also had 68 kills, 369 digs, and 26 ace serves.

WNCC coach Binny Canales said Briceno had an excellent season in being named co-caption of the All-Nebraska team.

“She had a tremendous season. She is an all-around player,” coach Binny Canales said. “She served tough. Passed well. Played tough defense. Took the swing when she needed to. I am very happy for her and proud of her.”

The other members of the first team included McCook’s Aijahnae Springs, Northeast’s Courtni Kunz, and Central’s Dorn and Sydney Yong.

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