Leslie Mamai-Lagafuaina pounded down 16 kills and the 16th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team swept past Trinidad State Junior College 25-13, 25-14, 25-9 in a Region IX South conference contest Friday night on Homecoming night at Cougar Palace.
The win moves the Cougars to 22-5 overall and 5-0 in conference play. The win was WNCC’s 11th straight victory heading into a showdown with Otero Junior College Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Otero comes into the contest second in the conference.
Mamai-Lagafuaina said the team played well and connected from start to finish.
“The connection was good and chemistry was good,” the sophomore middle hitter said. “Everybody did good by talking on the court and carrying their weight to finish the job.”
Mamai-Lagafuaina said the way they played Friday is the way they need to play every match.
“Our bench was loud tonight. We were loud tonight [on the floor] and the chemistry was just there,” she said. “I think this is the way we need to play tomorrow [Saturday] against Otero and the next matches that we play because tonight was good.”
The Cougars were clicking on all cylinders with 11 different players getting a service point and another nine picking up a kill.
Mamai-Lagafuaina led the way with 16 kills and three solo blocks followed by eight from Karen Cordero, six from Gabriela Canavati, four from Alex Hernandez, three each from Anuhea Kaohi and La’Treva Kennedy, and two each from Arianna Mitchell and Luisa Beining.
Two Cougars finished with double-figure serving. Cordero had 13 points with two aces, while Ana Costas had 11 points. Adia Sherbeyn tallied seven points, whole Canavati and Andrea Tsvetanova each had four.
Tsvetanova finished with 18 set assists while Olivia Transfiguacion had 14.
The strong service game was key in the match. The first set saw the two squads knotted at 5-5 before Cordero went on an 8-point run to push the lead to 14-5. Sherbeyn later had four points for a 22-8 before the Cougars won 25-13.
Trinidad State started the second set with a 4-3 lead and was knotted at 5-5. Once again Cordero had four points, two of which were aces for a 9-5 lead. Sherbeyn and Alex Hernandez combined for six straight service points for a 20-8 lead and the Cougars won 25-14.
Costas started the third set with a 7-point service run for a 9-1 lead and the Cougars never looked back the rest of the way to get the win 25-9.
After Saturday’s contest with Otero, WNCC will host Northeastern Junior College on Monday at 6 p.m. in a game that was postponed earlier in the month in a key conference contest. Monday’s contest will be Breast Cancer Awareness day with plenty of activities. Individuals are asked to wear pink on Monday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.