Team record receives two unexpected W's
Consider it a form of new math. The Northwest College women's volleyball team played four matches since Friday, but picked up five victories over that time period. The latest win in the series was a four-game victory over the Rocky Mountain College JV squad as the team paid tribute to its sophomores on Monday night.
The Trappers began the week with a 25-10, 25-18, 26-24 loss to No. 2 Western Wyoming, but recovered Saturday to defeat New Mexico Military 25-13, 16-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-8 and Air Force Prep 25-14, 25-7, 25-13. The team wrapped up its busy run on Monday at Cabre Gym by defeating the Battlin' Bears by a 25-16, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21 margin.
The team's other two wins came after the NJCAA ruled on Oct. 24 that fellow Region IX North institution Laramie County Community College had used an ineligible player in 20 games this season.
According to the LCCC Wingspan, the player, who was not named, was determined to have “participated in a league deemed by the NJCAA to be a professional league, despite the fact that the player had never earned any money for playing.” The player apparently participated in one match during the 2008-2009 season and another in the 2009-2010 year.
LCCC, which had been ranked No. 7 in the nation, was required to forfeit all 20 games in which the player had appeared this season, including both games against Northwest this season. Both of those games originally saw the Trappers fall to LCCC.
Northwest's season record now sits at 21-15 overall. The Trappers moved to second in the Region IX North standings as a result of the record reshuffle within the sub-region.
Freshman Sandrina Hunsel made sure the Trapper sophomores went out as winners in their final home court appearance on Monday night, slamming 20 kills over the net. Hunsel started the day ranked fifth nationally in kills this season, but her performance leapfrogged her into third by night's end with 452 to show for the season thus far.
Danielle York added six kills, five ace serves and a pair of blocks while Phoibe Fetu finished with five kills and four aces in support.
The game had its nervous moments for the Trappers, however. Freshman Gabriella Fabri, who has been playing with a torn meniscus all season, had her knee buckle late in the second game. She was pulled from the floor and did not return. Sophomore Randi McInerney turned in three kills in game one against Rocky Mountain, but did not return to the floor after that in her final home appearance. Like Fabri, McInerney is nursing a knee injury and is slated for surgery at season's end.
“Gabby's knee gave out as she went to plant for an approach,” said Trapper head coach Flavia Siqueira. “Randi we just want to keep as healthy as possible. We'll need both of them at the regional tournament.”
Neither player was expected to see the court last night (Wednesday) when the Trappers traveled to Central Wyoming to close out the regular season.
Over the weekend, Hunsel led the Trappers in kills in each of their three weekend contests, posting a total of 46. She also led the way with eight blocks against New Mexico Military in a contest that also saw teammates Jessica Denney, Gianesi Tarafa and Fetu each add five blocks of their own. York turned in 10 valuable kills to get the Trappers past New Mexico Military in five games while Denney and Fetu each produced seven kills against Air Force Prep.
Northwest College travels to Glendive, Mont., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, to begin Region IX North tournament play. The Trappers are assured of the No. 2 seed at that event and will face either Sheridan or LCCC in the opening round.
Despite the recent forfeit ruling handed down by the NJCAA, LCCC remains eligible for both regional and national tournament play.