Top ranked Cougars sweep Casper

The top-ranked Western Nebraska Community College finished with 29 blocks and the Cougars swept past Casper College Tuesday night 25-14, 25-15, 25-17 in the Cougar's home opener.

The Cougars finished with seven solo blocks, including two each from Allora Tanner and Leticia Silva. WNCC also added 22 assist blocks with six each from middle hitters Lindsay Wehkamp and Kylie Fa'amoe.

WNCC coach Giovana Melo said they played better than they did the past weekend but they still have making minor mistakes.

"We are taking it one step at a time and every time we step out on the court we have to keep getting a little better," Melo said. "We are still making a lot of mistakes but that is normal in the beginning. We just need to get more consistent to get ready for this weekend."

From this past weekend to Tuesday night, the Cougars did take a big step forward and it was the frontline that stood out once again. Melo said they have plenty of offensive threats.

"I thought we got a little bit better tonight," she said. "We worked on some little errors Monday in practice that we made over the weekend like communication errors and obviously we didn't make as many tonight."

As for the hitting, she said they have several players that can step up at any given time.

"We do have some potential on the hitting side," Melo said. "But we still have to work on our errors because we take some swings and make errors that we shouldn't be. All of our hitters have to get a little bit better."

Against Casper, Leticia Silva and Kayla Martin paced the team offensively. Silva finished with 11 kills and seven blocks, including two solos. Martin had 10 kills, but put up an all-around match with two blocks, six points and five digs.

WNCC also got clutch kills from Fa'amoe with seven and then had seven blocks. Tanner finished with six kills and six blocks, while Mendes had five kills and Wehkamp had three blocks and seven blocks.

Leading the charge for the Cougars were their two setters. Luiza Martins had 25 set assists, six points, and five digs, while Morgan Broussard finished with 14 set assists, eight digs, and four points.

Rachael McCracken stepped up once again defensively finishing with 18 digs.

As much as it seemed as the Cougars dominated the T-birds, Casper and WNCC actually had tight contests for the first half.

In the first game, WNCC held a slim 9-7 lead after a kill by Casper's Maggie Butler. Tanner then hammered a kill and Martins served three points for a 13-7 lead. Moments later, Mendes had three points, including two aces for a 17-8 lead.

WNCC pushed the lead to 21-11 on three Wehkamp kills and won the opening game 25-14 on a tanner kill.

The second game saw both teams tied at 10-10 before Mendes had four service points to put the Cougars up 15-10. WNCC pushed the lead t0 19-12 and led 21-13 after a Silva and Tanner Kill. The Cougars won the match 25-15 on a Mendes kill.

WNCC and Casper were back and forth for the first half of the third game as WNCC ran out to a 16-10 lead behind two service points from Morgan Broussard. Casper kept fighting, cutting the lead to 19-15 on two points from Vivien Rechlin. WNCC finally won the third game 25-17 on a Martin kill.

The win pushes the Cougars to 5-0 on the season, while Casper falls to 1-3. WNCC will next be in action this weekend when they take part in the Salt Lake tournament Friday and Saturday. The Cougars will face some tough competition, meeting up with North Idaho College, Snow College, Missouri State-West Plains, the College of Southern Idaho.

Melo said they will see where they stand after the weekend.

"We have one practice [on Wednesday] and after that it is just games," she said. "We just have to work on our errors and that is about it along with being more consistent."

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