Northwest volleyball excels in Cheyenne

Posted 2/4/21

Northwest College volleyball played eight matches in seven days to start the season. By the end of this week, the team will have played 11.

NWC head coach Scott Keister doesn’t expect the …

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Northwest volleyball excels in Cheyenne

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Northwest College volleyball played eight matches in seven days to start the season. By the end of this week, the team will have played 11.

NWC head coach Scott Keister doesn’t expect the busy schedule to wear his team down. Instead, he thinks it will make it stronger.

“It’s experience is what it is,” Keister said. “There’s nothing that teaches the game like the game.”

Most recently, the Trappers went 3-1 at a tournament in Cheyenne, hosted by Laramie County Community College. NWC is now 4-4 overall following the successful weekend. Northwest kicked things off Friday, defeating Lamar Community College in straight sets (25-12, 25-7, 25-23) but falling to Barton Community College in four (25-20, 25-23, 26-28, 25-16). 

While Keister admitted that Barton was the better team, the coach said his squad let its opponents intimidate them too much. With several taller international players who radiated vocal energy at all moments, Barton was unlike any opponent the Trappers had seen at this point in the season.

“It was the first time these kids have played a team like that, so these kids were like, ‘What in the world?’” Keister said. “Finger wagging, yelling at them in Spanish. It was good that they went through it.”

On the second day, Saturday, the Trappers faced two opponents they had already seen: Otero Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College. 

Despite falling to Otero in four sets the week before, Northwest won Saturday’s grudge match against the Rattlers 3-2 (23-25, 25-10, 25-22, 26-28, 15-11). The Trappers used what they saw in the first match against Otero to change the outcome in the rematch.

“It was good for them to see a team, put a plan into place, then have a game plan to go after them,” Keister said. “They executed it pretty well against a nice team.”

NWC wrapped up the four-game road trip against Trinidad State, once again defeating the Trojans. This time, the Trappers won in four sets (25-17, 25-12, 22-25, 25-21) to return to .500.

Opposed to the first weekend when he only noted a few standout performances, Keister saw a much more complete effort as a squad in Cheyenne. 

Shante Falslev led the team in kills on the weekend with 38, and Karli Steiner followed behind with 33. Kiah Johnson’s .316 hitting percentage was a team-high, and Jacie Walker’s nine digs led the Trappers.

Defensively, Paige Weimer had 63 digs. She sits second in the NJCAA Division I with 149 total. Sabree Adams and Mollee Krum were the team leaders in blocks with 27 and 22, respectively. 

As a team, the Trappers are No. 1 in the nation in team blocks and No. 3 in aces.

NWC kicked off its home slate Wednesday, facing Rocky Mountain College’s junior varsity squad at Cabre Gym. Just having the opportunity to compete in front of local fans was thrilling to Keister.

“Playing at home is one thing, but being able to have the fans in here changes the ballgame,” Keister said. “It’s like we’ve been doing this work and we want to show it off a bit. Our kids are pumped.”

But that’s not the only contest for NWC this week: Northwest heads to Riverton for matches against Central Wyoming and Colorado Northwestern on Friday. 

With nearly a dozen matches under their belts after this weekend, the Trappers won’t have any rust come Region IX play. 

“If you can go out there and play, especially against teams that have different skill sets than you, that’s going to help you progress,” Keister said. “We can adjust a little bit quicker.”

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