As Northwest College volleyball took to the hardwood Wednesday, it was a strange feeling for head coach Scott Keister and his players: The match against the Rocky Mountain College junior varsity …
As Northwest College volleyball took to the hardwood Wednesday, it was a strange feeling for head coach Scott Keister and his players: The match against the Rocky Mountain College junior varsity marked the Trappers’ first home match since 2019.
With fans in the bleachers, there was added pressure for the girls to perform well, and they trailed early as a result.
“Initially, I think they were nervous,” Keister said. “The first set, it was about calming them down and reminding them of our game plan.”
Keister called a timeout in the first set, and the Trappers’ play improved soon after. They went on to win in three sets (25-22, 25-16, 25-22) for their fifth victory of the season.
Though it was a 3-0 win, Keister noted lapses in the squad’s blocking throughout the match. The Trappers started the third set down 0-4 and it looked like things were going to get ugly.
Trailing by five at a timeout, a side of Keister that rarely appears came out: his angry side.
“It was just about ripping their butts into it and firing them up,” Keister said. “I don’t enjoy doing that, but sometimes you have to refocus them back to center.”
After the pep talk, the Trappers responded. They went on a six-point run to take a 22-21 set lead, which they were able to maintain.
“It’s just good to see them battle and fight through that,” Keister said. “I was happy to see them grind through it and put bodies on the floor.”
Once again, freshman Baylee Peterson led the Trappers with 16 kills, while hitting an efficient .344. Paige Weimer had the most digs with 18.
Two days later, NWC ventured to Riverton, playing matches against Central Wyoming College and Colorado Northwestern Community College. The Trappers went 1-1, defeating CNCC but falling to CWC in a day where Keister described his team’s performance as “sluggish.”
Even though the Trappers were able to take down Colorado Northwestern in straight sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-18), the coach still noted lapses in the team’s blocking. And in the four-set (25-18, 19-25, 25-9, 25-17) loss against Central Wyoming, Keister said his team showed flashes of brilliance but couldn’t keep its play consistent.
Individually, Kiah Johnson was a standout for NWC on Friday. She led the Trappers with 12 kills against Central Wyoming, also recording nine digs.
With one weekend remaining until Region IX play begins, Keister still sees many areas that need improvement. Two that stand out to the coach are blocking and overall defense.
That said, NWC has already surpassed last year’s win total of five, sitting at 6-5 through 11 matches. This has the freshman-led squad motivated as conference play looms.
“We’re excited for them to see the progress,” Keister said. “There’s a lot of teaching moments, but we should be rolling this weekend.”
The Trappers host a tournament at Cabre Gym this weekend, with play starting Thursday. NWC kicks off its slate that day against Colorado Northwestern at 7 p.m.