LA JUNTA, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team received 11 kills from Joise Maldonado in earning a Region IX South conference 25-16, 25-23, 25-21 sweep over Otero Junior College Thursdayevening in La Junta, Colorado.
The win moved the fifth-ranked Cougars to 25-3 on the season. More importantly, WNCC remained a half game in first place in the conference with a 6-1 record over Northeastern Junior College. NJC was a 25-17, 24-26, 25-11, 25-18 winner over Lamar on Thursday.
WNCC controlled the first set, leading 18-10 at one time before capturing the 25-16 win. The second set was a lot closer with Otero leading for much of the set. The Cougars mounted a late charge and captured the win 25-23.
The Cougars finished off the Rattlers in the third set with the 25-21 lead, after leading by six or seven points early.
Jayme Commins and Enna Masaki each had a double-double in the win. Commins, from Ogallala, finished with 16 points, 15 set assists, and six digs. Masaki had 19 set assists, 14 digs, and three kills.
Offensively, WNCC totaled 37 kills as a team with 15 hitting errors. Maldonado led the way with 11 kills followed by Brooke Kaawa with nine, Sarena Bartley with eight, and Kaile Tuisamatatele with six.
Kaawa also tallied five digs and two points, while Tuisamatatele had three digs, a solo block, and two assist blocks.
Also for the Cougars, Genesis Benitez had 16 digs and five points; Kadara Marshall had 10 points, two digs, and two assist blocks; and Kirstie Trees had six digs and three points.
WNCC will continue the southern Colorado South sub-region road swing with a match with Lamar Community College on Friday before traveling to Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday afternoon.
WNCC will then return home next week for five matches in four days, including a conference match with NJC on Wednesday, which is White Out Night. Also, a raffle will be held that night for three Nebraska volleyball tickets to the Nov. 4 Indiana match with a parking pass.