The top-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team finished the Pizza Hut Invite in Sterling, Colorado, 4-0 after dropping Sheridan College and Casper College Saturday.
The Cougars needed four games in topping Sheridan 25-16, 19-25, 25-10, 25-14 before sweeping Casper College 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 on Saturday. On Friday, the Cougars swept past Cloud County Community College (25-21, 25-14, 25-12) and Northeastern Junior College (25-13, 25-15, 25-17).
WNCC’s 4-0 tournament record pushed the Cougars to 13-2 overall. WNCC has now won five straight heading into a showdown with No. 8 Salt Lake Community College Thursday at Cougar Palace.
Saturday’s two wins showed plenty of depth. Against Sheridan, The Cougars finished with 54 kills and 8 ½ blocks. Barbara Briceno paced the Cougars with a triple-double of 17 kills, 14 digs, and 14 points. Briceno also had four aces and 2 ½ blocks.
Lara Picht also had a big game, finishing with 14 kills, 1 ½ blocks, eight digs, six points, and an ace. Kaylee Spreier also had a big contest, tallying nine kills, four points, and an ace.
Also for the Cougars, Brooke Kaawa had seven kills and five digs; Joise Maldaonado had three kills and 1 ½ blocks; Bia Berta four kills, eight digs, 33 set assists, eight points, and two aces; Genesis Benitez-Fontanez had 21 digs; Danica Daum had five set assists, two points, and an ace; and Kirstee Trees had seven digs and 13 points.
WNCC’s win against Casper saw a balanced attack. Briceno finished with 11 kills and five blocks, including four solos. Briceno also had eight points, an ace, and nine digs.
Picht and Kaawa each pounded home eight kills. Picht also had two blocks, three digs, four digs, and two aces, while Kaawa had two digs and two points.
Spreier finished with three kills and three points, while Maldonado had four kills.
Also for the Cougars against Casper, Benitez-Fontanez had six digs and three set assists; Berta had three digs, 25 set assists, seven points, and three aces; and Trees with five digs and 15 points.