Joise Maldonado pounded home 15 kills and the third-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team captured their 14th straight in registering a 20-25, 25-20, 25-15, 29-27 Region IX South win over McCook Community College Thursday evening in McCook.
The win was the Cougars 20th of the season to just two defeats. WNCC has won 20 or more games in 21 straight seasons dating back to the 1997 season.
Thursday’s win was a battle against a pesky McCook team in which the Indians took the first set from the Cougars and snapping a WNCC 35-set win streak. After McCook took the first set 25-20, the Cougars rebounded.
McCook and WNCC were tied early at 7-7 and led 12-11 at one point in the second set. That was when Brooke Kaawa served up five points behind two Kadara Marshall kills for a 17-12 lead. McCook came back to cut the lead to 19-18 before Aneta Faskova served the final two points for the 25-20 win.
WNCC trailed 3-0 early in the third set before Kaawa had a kill and three service points to push the lead to 19-12. WNCC took the third set 25-15 on back-to-back kills from Jayme Commins and Aloni Jordan.
The fourth set was a nail-biter. WNCC held a 5-3 lead before falling behind 12-8 and later 21-17. Commins served up three points to knot the score at 21. From there it was back and forth with both teams getting set point only to be thwarted by the defense. McCook led 27-26 late before WNCC scored three straight points on Maldonado and Jordan kills to win the set 29-27.
WNCC finished with 59 kills and 11 solo blocks for the match. Kaawa finished with a triple-double of 14 kills, 13 digs, and 10 points to lead the team. Maldonado had 15 kills and three solo blocks in the win.
Genesis Benitez dug up 23 digs with seven points and four set assists, while Commins had 43 set assists, four kills, six digs, four points and a solo block.
Also for the Cougars, Sarena Bartley had eight kills and a solo block; Lauren Shaul had six digs, five points, and an ace serve; Kirstee Trees had 12 digs, seven points, and two aces; Faskova had four kills, five points, two aces, and two assist blocks; Jordan had five kills and a solo block; and Marshall had nine kills and four solo blocks.
WNCC, 20-2, will have a week off before they begin the final month of the regular season by hosting Otero Junior College next Thursday at 6 p.m. followed by Lamar Community College on Friday and Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday. Thursday’s match with Otero is PAWzitively Pink night for breast cancer awareness with all cancer survivors getting in free.