It is nearing post season time for volleyball and soccer and this week has plenty of post-season excitement for the Western Nebraska Community College athletic teams this week.
It all starts on Wednesday when the No. 19 Cougar volleyball team hosts No. 20 Northeastern Junior College in a big Region IX South Conference contest. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Cougar Palace.
WNCC enters the contest on a seven match win streak, last losing to Otero Junior College on the road Sept. 27. Since then, WNCC has defeated both Otero and NJC in the win streak.
The Cougar volleyball team come into the action at 21-7 and 7-1 in conference play. NJC is 20-5 overall and 6-2 in the conference. A win Wednesday will give WNCC the South Conference championship and the No. 1 seed from the South for the Region IX Tournament Nov. 1-3 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. If NJC wins, both teams would be tied at 7-2 with each team having one conference match left with WNCC traveling to McCook on Friday while NJC travels to McCook on Tuesday.
After this week, WNCC will have three regular season matches left next week. WNCC will travel to Laramie County Community College on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and then host Sheridan College on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. and then host No. 2 Iowa Western Community College on Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday’s match with Sheridan College will be sophomore recognition.
While the volleyball team is nearing post-season in a couple weeks, the soccer teams are in Region IX tournament action this weekend with first-round playoff matches. The WNCC men earned a first-round home game on Saturday after earning the No. 2 seed from the South and will play the No. 3 team from the North (either Laramie County Community College or Northwest College). Full pairings and times for the playoff match at Landers Soccer Complex will be determined on Wednesday.
The Cougar women will enter the post-season as the No. 3 team from the South with a 4-7-2 overall record and 2-3-1 in conference play. The women’s team will open Region IX playoff action on Saturday against Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Western Wyoming finished the season at 10-6-1 and 5-2-1 in the North Conference.
The winners from both the men’s and women’s first round will advance to the Region IX tournament Oct. 25-27 In Westminster, Colorado. The men’s champion will compete in a district playoff while the women’s regional champion will advance to the national tournament in Alabama.
With soccer on the road on Saturday, there are still Cougar athletic events at home over the weekend. The WNCC men’s basketball team will host Chadron State College in a scrimmage on Saturday at Cougar Palace beginning at 9 a.m. Three former Cougars are part of the CSC team, including Jeremy Ruffin, Michael Sparks, and Austin Hoffman.
The baseball team will be at home this weekend as well. The Cougars will host high school teams in action on Sunday at Cleveland Field beginning at 10 a.m. But, before Sunday, the Cougars will travel to Greeley, Colorado, to scrimmage the University of Northern Colorado at noon on Saturday. UNC has a former Cougar on the squad in Jack Pauley. Pauley played over the summer for the Western Nebraska Pioneers, a wood-bat collegiate summer team in Gering. The Pioneers won the Expedition championship in August.
Wednesday, Oct. 17
Volleyball: HOME vs. Northeastern Junior College, Cougar Palace, 7 p.m.
High school color guard will be in attendance
Video: WNCC Athletics Youtube Channel — https://youtu.be/h3yJ-bQ7cHU
Friday, Oct. 19
Volleyball: AWAY vs. McCook Community College, McCook, Neb., 5 p.m. MST
Saturday, Oct. 20
Men’s Soccer: HOME vs. Opponent TBA, Landers Soccer Complex, Time TBA
Region IX Playoff Match
Women’s Soccer: AWAY @ Western Wyoming C.C., Rock Springs, Wyoming, Time TBA
Region IX Playoff Match
Men’s Basketball: HOME vs. Chadron State College (Scrimmage), Cougar Palace, 9 a.m.
Women’s Basketball: AWAY @ Kansas Jamboree, Lawrence, Kansas, Time TBA
Baseball: Away @ U. of Northern Colorado Scrimmage, Greeley, Colorado, Noon
Sunday, Oct. 21
Baseball: HOME vs. WYCO Scrimmage, Cleveland Field, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.