Lady Trappers now 4-1 in conference play
The Lady Trappers volleyball team hosted three games at home over the past week, earning conference victories over Sheridan College and Miles Community College, but falling to Casper Casper College in a five-set thriller.
Lady Trappers 3, Sheridan 0
Sheridan College came to Powell on Thursday, Sept. 28, and “came out really well in the beginning,” said NWC head coach Shaun Pohlman. “I don’t think we came out strong, but I don’t think we came out weak, I just think Sheridan just came out solid.”
In the first set, the Lady Trappers fell behind early.
Pohlman said “the very first thought was, ‘Wow this is going at least four [sets].’”
However, the Lady Trappers fought back to tie the game at 12 and then take the lead. The squad led by just one point, 20-19, before pulling away and winning the first set 25-20.
“That first set was really a weird one because it really looked like Sheridan was really going to make it a really solid tough game,” Pohlman said.
However, the NWC women went on to win the next two sets, 25-16 and 25-19.
“I think it was some of the best volleyball we’ve ended up playing,” Pohlman said of the first two sets. “The second set we just came out and ... we were really solid and blew them away.”
In the third set, “we started struggling a little bit,” Pohlman said. “But we were fortunate to come out with a win.”
Luana Rezende had a double-double with 12 kills and 17 digs; Jess Ruffing added a double-double of her own with 27 assists and 10 digs.
In kills, Shania Warren had 11, Holly Pittman had nine, Kiandra Franklin had seven kills with no hitting errors on 17 attempts and Aleksandra Saric had seven kills with six hitting errors.
Bre Donarski lead the Lady Trappers in digs with 19.
Demery Dean had 25 assists and Franklin had six blocks.
Casper 3, Lady Trappers 2
On Friday, NWC lost to Casper College in five sets, but not before putting up a fight. Down two sets to none and facing a sweep, the Lady Trappers battled back to make it a contest.
“The third set we started out strong,” said Pohlman. “I think that Casper had a couple of hitting errors and a couple things that really loosened our kids up ... It’s like, ‘OK, we’ve got some breathing room.’”
The Lady Trappers lost the first two sets 25-22 and 25-17, but bounced back to win the third 25-22.
“This team is still trying [and] learning to fight,” Pohlman said, adding that in close games, “they’ve got to learn to not pay attention to the other side of the scoreboard.”
The coach said his team needs to just focus on “what do we need to do to get the next point as opposed to, ‘Oh crap, they are catching up’ or, ‘Oh crap, we’re losing.’ We’ve got to get to 25, so let’s worry about our side of the scoreboard.”
NWC took the fourth set, 25-23, but “we lost momentum at the end and that momentum carried to the fifth set,” Pohlman said.
The fifth set was lost 15-10.
Casper had won only four matches prior to the NWC matchup but Pohlman said he thinks that Casper is a better team than their overall record (7-16) indicates. With the loss to Casper, NWC’s record stands at 8-10 overall and 4-1 in Region IX North.
Pohlman said his team “sees themselves for what they are or what they’re not as opposed to what they could be, and I think a coach sees it the opposite way. A coach sees it as, ‘You could be this, but you’re being this,’ and I see it as a choice.”
Pohlman said the team needs to decide if they want to be what the coaching staff sees them as.
Against Casper, Rezende had 13 kills, Saric followed with 12 and Pittman had eight kills with one error in 14 swings.
Dean lead in assists with 28 and Ruffing had 14. Donarski had 14 digs.
Pittman also had three blocks and two aces.
Lady Trappers 3, MCC 1
On Tuesday, NWC played Miles Community College and won three of four sets.
The Lady Trappers won the first two sets, 25-10 and 25-18. The Pioneers came back to win the third set 25-22, but Northwest rebounded in the fourth, winning 25-10.
The team had 20 aces. “The most aces I’ve seen in a game before,” said Pohlman.
Dean led with four and Donarski and Pittman had three each.
Four people topped the team with 10 kills each: Elena Tokova, Franklin, Warren and Rezende.
Dean had 21 assists followed by Kailee Becking with 15 and Ruffing with 13.
Donarski had 14 digs.
Against Miles City, Pohlman said he noticed “sloppiness, because we haven’t really practiced a whole lot and sometimes you need that fundamental work, that coming together, the sit down, break it down, talk about it. In a game, you don’t really get that.”
The Lady Trappers have played six games in the last 12 days.
“Going into this weekend, we’ve got a lot of clean-up to do and practice the next two days is going to be pretty imperative,” said Pohlman.
The Lady Trappers will hit the road this weekend, traveling to play Laramie County Community College on Friday at 7 p.m. and Eastern Wyoming College on Saturday at 3 p.m. Both games are regional opponents.
Pohlman said that LCCC is the favorite in Region IX North, leading the region with a 20-5 overall record.