STERLING, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball split a pair of matches at the Sheila Worley Invite in Sterling, Colorado, on Friday. 

                The Cougars earned a big 3-1 win over Snow College to open the invite in come-from-behind fashion. The Cougars dropped the first set 25-17 before claiming the next three 25-15, 25-20, 25-14 for the win and stopping the 4-game losing streak. 

                WNCC then fell to Indian Hills Community College for the second time this season in straight sets 25-17, 25-21, 25-15. 

                Against Snow, WNCC dropped the first set 25-19 after holding a 13-12 lead. The second set was a different story as the Cougars controlled things from the onset when Shae Hardy served the first nine points for a 9-0 lead. The Cougars went up by double-digits at 14-4 on a Lilly Zwart point and then led 19-5 after four Dani Cruz points. WNCC won the second set 25-14. 

                The third set was similar to the second as the Cougars never trailed. WNCC led 5-1 early on three Kyana Gabriel points and led 13-9. Snow fought back to tie things at 13 and 14 and trailed 18-17 when the Cougars went up 21-17 on two Cruz points. WNCC won the third 25-20. 

                The third set was another dominating performance as the Cougars only trailed once at 1-0. After that, WNCC led 5-2 on two Taylor Tyser points and doubled up Snow 10-5. Hardy added to the lead at 13-6 with two points. 

                The Cougars led 19-12 on a Zwart point and then pushed the lead to 24-13 on four Cruz points before Finja Schul won the match with a kill. 

                Hardy and Tyser each had a double-double in the contest. Hardy finished with 29 set assists with 13 points. Hardy also had six ace serves with nine digs. Tyser had 14 digs with 10 points. Tyser also had an ace serve and a kill. 

                Zwart led the Cougars on the offensive side with nine kills with four points and two aces, while Cruz and Gabriel each had seven kills. Cruz also had 12 points, nine digs, and two ace serves. Gabriel had six points with an ace serve and seven digs. 

                Also for WNCC, Megan Bewley tallied seven digs; Chloe Grady had five kills; Schul had five kills with two blocks, and four solo blocks and four assisted blocks; and Charli Blackman had two points and two ace serves. 

                WNCC couldn’t keep that momentum of the Snow win against Indian Hills as the Cougars only managed just 20 kills and 20 digs in the 3-set setback.  

                Indian Hills won the first set pretty easy at 25-17. The second set saw Indian Hills jump to a 9-3 lead only to watch the Cougars slice the deficit to 10-8 on a Cruz point. WNCC kept fighting as they trailed by just one, 22-21 after two Hardy points, but couldn’t complete the comeback in falling 25-21. 

                The third set was a little tighter at the start. WNCC led 4-3 before Indian Hills went up 9-5. The Cougars tied things at 9-9 on three Cruz points only to watch Indian Hills answer with a 15-9 lead. 

                WNCC kept battling as Schul got a kill and then the freshman from Germany added two service points to bring WNCC back to with 15-12. That was as close as they could get as Indian Hills won 25-15. 

                Zwart led the Cougars with 10 kills with three points and two ace serves. Schul finished with six kills and Gabriel also had six kills. No other Cougar had a kill besides those three players. Schul also had five points with two aces, while Gabriel had two points, four digs, and two assist blocks. 

WNCC men open conference play with 6-1 win over Northwest

                Eduardo Oliveira scored two goals and the Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team captured their third straight victory with a 6-1 Region IX Conference win over Northwest College at Landers Soccer Complex Friday afternoon. 

                The win moves the Cougars to 1-0 in the conference and more important 3-1-1 overall as they enter another conference game on Saturday when Central Wyoming College comes to Scottsbluff for a 3:30 contest. 

                Oliveira scored one goal in each of the first and second halves as the Cougars controlled the contest from the get-go. Oliveira said the team played well. 

                “I think this team played together,” the sophomore said. “From the beginning of the game we played all together with intensity and that is how we are going to play every game because we want to be champions.” 

                The Cougars diffidently started strong and Oliveira said that was important to start strong from the onset and not let up. 

                “I that that is really important because we started 100 percent because the other team wasn’t expecting us to start that way,” Oliveira said. 

                The big thing, though, it was a team win with five different people scoring and different people contributing with assists.  

                “That is really important because last year we had just one person that scored and this team is more deep so we have more players that can score,” he said. “This is a good team.” 

                WNCC wasted little time in starting the scoring as Pablo Dominguez got the Cougars on the board as he took a pass from Pedro Rocha and scored the first goal just 5:50 into the game. 

                Samuel Acosta made it 2-0 when he scored from an assist from Lucas Ovalle just 14 minutes into the contest. The Cougars weren’t finished as Guilherme Lindolfo scored 17:12 left in the half off an assist from Roche to make it 3-0. 

                WNCC entered halftime up 4-0 after Oliveira scored his first goal off an assist from Luis Terreros and the halftime lead. 

                WNCC didn’t waste time in scoring in the second half as Adolfo Rojas scored just five minutes into the half off an assist from Ovalle. The Cougars made it 6-0 as Oliveira scored his second goal of the game with 13 minutes to play. 

                Northwest finally got on the scoreboard with 11 minutes left in the match as Santiago Leiva scored but it was little too late.  

                Goalkeeper Hernan Burdiles had two saves in net.  

                Hardy tallied 19 set assists with five points, three digs, an ace, and a solo block; Bewley had four digs; Tyser had seven digs; and Grady had two block assists. 

                WNCC will wrap up the invite in Sterling with two matches on Saturday when they face New Mexico Military Institute at 12:30 p.m. followed by Dodge City Community College at 5:30 p.m. 

WNCC women fall to Northwest 5-3

                The Western Nebraska Community College women’s soccer team started strong and then faltered as Northwest College scored three second half goals to claim the 5-3 win in both teams Region IX conference opener on Friday. 

                The scoring in the first half was fast and furious for both squads as each team was answering each other’s goals. It didn’t take WNCC long to score as sophomore Tania Razo scored just nine minutes into the contest when she netted the opening goal off an assist from Yasmin Urbina. 

                Northwest knotted things at 1-1 when Autumn Wilson scored with 28 minutes left to play in the opening half. 

                Razo scored her second goal of the day when the sophomore took a pass from Aileen Perez and made it 2-1 just one minute, 20 seconds after Northwest tied things up. 

                The Trappers answered once again with under 20 minutes left in the opening half when Tessa Hyland scored.  

                It seemed as if the two teams would enter halftime tied, but that wasn’t the case as Lesley Vasquez took a pass from Urbina and scored to put the Cougars up 3-2 with just 22 seconds left in the first half. 

                The second half belonged to Northwest as the Trappers controlled play with keeping the ball on their side of the midfield area for about 80 percent of the time. The Trappers tied the contest when Miranda Acacia Williams scored in the 63rd minute. 

                Nine minutes later, Amy Price scored to make it 4-3 in favor of the Trappers. 

                Northwest added an insurance goal with 12 minutes to play when Pressly Taylor scored to make it 5-3. 

                Things weren’t going WNCC’s way in the second half as with 1:30 left, Vasquez missed a penalty kick. 

                WNCC had 13 shots in the contest while Northwest peppered the goal with 20 shots. Most of the shots for the Trappers came in the second half. 

                Both teams had four corner kicks. 

                WNCC will look to rebound when they host Central Wyoming College on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Cougars defeated Central Wyoming 4-0 on Monday in Casper, Wyoming. Central Wyoming fell to Laramie County Community College on Friday 8-1.