LA JUNTA, Colo. – The No. 19 Otero Junior College volleyball team continued their strong start to the season with a sweep over Western Nebraska Community College Thursday 25-17, 25-14, 25-18.
The Rattlers move to 17-1 on the season while the Cougars fall to 14-7.
Thursday’s match was a matter of WNCC struggling defensively and offensively.
After a strong first set where WNCC held an 6-4 lead after three Gaby Canavati points and then 12-7 after three Jayme Commins points, the Rattlers turned the momentum with strong serving in leading 21-16 before winning the first set 25-17.
The second set was tight at the start with Otero just up 7-5. Things changed in a heartbeat after a big service run pushed the Otero lead to 12-5 and the Rattlers never looked back for the 25-14 win.
WNCC held a 7-6 lead in the third set, but once again, a string service run pushed the Otero lead to 12-7. WNCC cut the lead to 14-11 at one time, but never could get on more than a 2-point service run to fall 25-18.
WNCC was led by Amryi-Grace Paris with 15 kills followed by Kaile Tuisamatatele with seven, Sarena Bartley with five, and Leslie Mamai-Lagafuaina with four.
The Cougars finished with 14 hitting errors in the three sets and did not register one solo or assist block.
Defensively, the Cougars had three near-double figures dig leaders. Ana Costas led the way with 17 digs followed by Camille Esselin with 13, and Commins with nine. Canavati had five digs.
Commins finished the match with 28 set assists with three points, while Costas had four set assists. Canavati had four points while Adia Sherbeyn had three points.
WNCC will look to get back on track when they travel to face Lamar Community College at 6 p.m. on Friday before wrapping up the southern Colorado road trip with a contest Saturday at Trinidad State Junior College at 1 p.m.
nBoth Lamar and Trinidad State earned wins over Region IX South opponents on Thursday. Lamar topped No. 20 Northeastern Junior College 21-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-20, while Trinidad State topped McCook in four sets 22-25, 29-27, 25-23, 27-25.