WNCC, EWC set to host WyoBraska Invite
The WyoBraska area will be filled with volleyball competition as Western Nebraska Community College and Eastern Wyoming College get set to host the WyoBraska Invite at both locations.
Action gets underway on Thursday night when EWC faces Northeastern Junior College at 5 p.m. at Torrington, Wyoming, and the 5th-ranked WNCC Cougars will take on Northwest College at 7 p.m. at Cougar Palace in Scottsbluff.
For WNCC, they will be at home for the next two weeks after playing 14 of their 15 matches on the road. The team is excited to be at home and they hope to come away with wins this weekend. WNCC will play five matches in three days.
“The team needs to play together, play for each other, and keep our composure when things get hard,” sophomore Jenna Curtis, who was named to the Sheila Worley Invite all-tournament team last weekend in Sterling, Colorado, said. “We have a big weekend so really we just need to be prepared.”
Besides WNCC and EWC, there will be nine other schools in the area this weekend, including defending national champion Iowa Western Community College, No. 16 Central Wyoming College, and Northeastern Junior College who received votes in this week’s national rankings.
Other teams that will be in the tournament include Casper College, Western Wyoming Community College, Northwest College, Dodge City Community College, Colorado Northwestern Community College, and Lake Region State College.
After Thursday night, Friday and Saturday’s action will have five to six matches each day at the two sites.
WNCC’s Friday’s contests will have the fifth-ranked Cougar women, 13-2, facing Casper at 1 p.m. and then Western Wyoming at 5 p.m. WNCC’s Saturday’s schedule will be competitive as WNCC will face Iowa Western at 1 p.m. and then Central Wyoming at 5 p.m.
EWC’s schedule for Friday has the Lancers facing Colorado Northwestern at 11 a.m. and then Dodge City at 3 p.m. EWC will then face Lake Region at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Curtis said her team is excited for the competition and are looking forward to the five home matches, including the Saturday twinbill that features nationally-prominent teams.
“We have a huge day on Saturday with two big teams,” the Ogallala native said. “We need every player 1 through 18 to be ready to go and full of energy. But we need to get past our first three games first.”
The Cougars have definitely been facing competition and beaten some quality teams this season. The team’s only defeats came to No. 4 Salt Lake Community College over Labor Day weekend and then to No. 2 Indian Hills Community College last weekend in Sterling, Colorado. Both defeats were in five sets.
WNCC has also defeated top teams including No. 16 Central Wyoming, Missouri State-West Plains, Iowa Western, Butler, and College of Southern Idaho.
Curtis said they have played well, but they still haven’t reached their full potential.
“We are playing OK,” Curtis said. “We know we still haven’t reached our full potential and still have room for improvement but overall we are playing well together.”
The Cougars entered the season as the 18th-ranked team in the pre-season and have climbed into the top five. Curtis said it is nice that they are ranked that high, but they don’t put a lot of stock in the rankings just yet.
“To be ranked in the Top 5 for the third week in a row is a bit deal,” she said. “We don’t like to look too much into it as it’s still early but we are working hard to make our way up still.”
After this weekend’s five matches, the Cougars will have three matches home next week when they host Casper College on September 20, McCook Community College on September 22, and Lamar Community College on September 23.
WyoBraska Invite Schedule
at WNCC in Scottsbluff
7 p.m. – WNCC vs. Northwest
9 a.m. – Iowa Western vs. Casper
11 a.m. – Western Wyoming vs. NJC
1 p.m. – Casper vs. WNCC
3 p.m. – NJC vs. Iowa Western
5 p.m. WNCC vs. Western Wyoming
9 a.m. – Iowa Western vs. Central Wyoming
11 a.m. – Dodge City vs. Western Wyoming
1 p.m. – WNCC vs. Iowa Western
3 p.m. – Dodge City vs. Casper
5 p.m. – WNCC vs. Central Wyoming
At EWC in Torrington, Wyoming
5 p.m. – EWC vs. NJC
9 a.m. – Central Wyoming vs. Dodge City
11 a.m. – EWC vs. Colorado Northwestern
1 p.m. – Lake Region vs. Northwest
3 p.m. – Dodge City vs. EWC
5 p.m. – Central Wyoming vs. Lake Region
7 p.m. – Colorado Northeastern vs. Northwest
9 a.m. – Colorado Northwestern vs. Casper
11 a.m. – Lake Region vs. EWC
1 p.m. – Northwest vs. NJC
3 p.m. – Lake Region vs. Western Wyoming
5 p.m. – Colorado Northwestern vs. NJC