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October 02, 2008 3:02 am

NWC volleyball tops Casper for third time

Written by Tribune Staff

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Lady Trappers (from left to right) Katie Gregg, Angela Schuman, Carol Martin, Rebekah DePesa and Thabata Galvao celebrate after an NWC point late in Tuesday's match against Casper College. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Lady Trappers now 24-7

Playing at home for only the second time this season, the Northwest College Lady Trappers defeated Casper College in three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-22) Tuesday night.

With the victory, the Lady Trappers improved to 24-7 for the season and 2-0 in matches played in NWC's Hank Cabre Gymnasium. NWC also has yet to lose a set during competitions in Powell this season. That mark, however, almost got its first blemish during the third set of Tuesday's match.

After being in control for the majority of the match, the Lady Trappers found themselves trailing 5-0 early in the third set and fell behind by as many as six points before rallying late.

NWC tied the score at 20 then took its first lead during the set by scoring the next point. The Thunderbirds battled back and tied the score at 22, but from there the Lady Trappers reeled off three straight points to earn the sweep.

The victory was NWC's third this season against Casper, but NWC head coach Flavia Siqueira said the Thunderbirds have improved a great deal since the previous meetings between the two squads during tournament competition.

“Casper has improved a lot,” Siqueira said. “Their blocking was amazing. It was good for us to get the win, but I thought we could have played better than we did. We prepared for them, but when the match started we didn't apply what we had covered in practice. We didn't use the things that we knew about them, and that made it a lot closer than I thought it should have been.”

As for highlights from the match, Siqueria said the Lady Trappers had several notable performances, including that of Katie Gregg. The freshman middle hitter from Barstow, Calif., finished with 12 kills and two solo blocks. Sophomore setter Carol Martin also turned in a stellar showing and finished with 35 assists and 22 digs.

Sophomore middle hitter Thabata Galvao, who has been hampered by a shoulder injury this season, also enjoyed a solid match, according to Siqueira. Glavao ended the match with seven kills, two solo blocks and 18 digs. NWC's coach also noted the strong play of freshmen Rebekah DePesa and Kayla Propes off the bench.

n Up next: The Lady Trappers have two more home matches scheduled this week. Friday at 7 p.m., NWC will face Eastern Wyoming College. At 3 p.m. the following day, the Lady Trappers will square off against Laramie County Community College.

NWC is 1-0 against each of those teams, but Siqueira said to expect those squads to compete at the same level they played at earlier in the season would be a mistake.

“I'm sure both of them will be improved, so we'll have to be ready to play at our level,” Siqueira said. “Eastern's coach does a great job of sharing his knowledge with his kids. They're definitely a team you have to watch out for any time you play them. Laramie doesn't have a lot of height on the front row, but they are still a very good defensive team and they can cause you a lot of problems.”

NWC, despite its impressive record, will enter the matches with EWC and LCCC unranked. The latest NJCAA national rankings were released Wednesday, and the Lady Trappers are still outside the top 20 and listed as one of 10 schools receiving votes for the poll.