Cougars win 18th in a row

Priscila Mendes finished with a triple double as the second-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team swept past Lamar Community College 25-10, 25-18, 25-12 on Friday at Cougar Palace.

Mendes finished with an unusual triple double, finishing with 14 digs, 10 aces and 22 points in leading the Cougars to their 18th straight victory.

Mendes, however, is quick to give credit to her entire team for getting the win.

"Everybody played very well today and we did a good job," Mendes said. "There were some moments where we didn't do well, but overall the scores were good. Today the serving was good."

The Cougars played well from all areas and received output from a variety of people. WNCC finished with 14 aces and 35 kills. Mendes' 10 aces was the most aces served since Stephanie Perez had 10 aces back in 2005 against Casper College. Marina Bazana holds the match ace record of 13 set back in 1999 against Lamar.

Mendes' aces came in the first and third set, but it was the opening game that set the tone of the match. Mendes started things by serving nine straight points, including five aces for a quick 10-0 lead. After that, the Cougars explosive hitting took over as Danika Youngblood had six kills and Allora Tanner had three kills. Megan Johnson finished off the set with a kill and the 15-10 win.

The second set was tighter as Lamar held a 5-3 lead. Tanner then hammered home a kill and then Luiza Martins ran off five service points for a 9-5 lead. Lamar kept fighting, slicing the lead to 13-11 but once the Cougars got the lead to four points, they just chipped away until Kat Agson finished off the game with a kill.

The third set saw the Cougars put up another stellar serving game from Mendes as the freshman from Brazil finished the set with 11 points and five aces. Mendes had three early points for a 4-2 lead only to watch Lamar cut the lead to 9-6.

A few minutes later, Mendes went on a eight points scoring spree, including four aces. Mendes was aided by an explosive hitting attack as Lauren Knox had two kills, a kill by Johnson, and a block by Lindsay Wehkamp.

Once again, WNCC had a multitude of individual highlights. Mendes also hammered home five kills to go with her triple double. Youngblood finished with nine kills and six digs; Yoro Tovar had four kills and three points; Tanner had five kills; Johnson had two kills and two blocks,Taylor VanderWerff had three kills and a block; Lauren Knox had four kills; Martins had seven digs, eight points, two aces, and 15 set assists; and Morgan Broussard had 17 set assists, four points, and an ace.

WNCC, 24-2, will be back in action Saturday when they host Trinidad State Junior College in a 1 p.m. contest. Trinidad State fell to Northeastern Junior College in four sets on Friday, 25-18, 27-29, 25-21, 25-15.

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