Western Nebraska Community College’s Karen Cordero and Gabriela Canavati combined for 39 kills and the 17th-ranked Cougar volleyball team won their 20th match of the season with a 23-25, 25-17, 30-28, 25-21 win over Laramie County Community College Tuesday evening at Cougar Palace.
Cordero had a double-double on the night with 24 kills and 15 points while Canavati had 15 kills as the Cougars overcome a slow start to move to 20-5 on the season. It is the Cougars’ 22nd straight season with 20 or more wins.
The win was also the Cougars ninth straight win.
“I thought we played phenomenal,” Canavati said. “We were a little rusty at first and it took us a while to start, but we got the job done.”
The Cougars did play better after the opening set, a set where both teams went back and forth with each other with very few service runs before LCCC won 25-23.
Canavati said they knew what they had to do after dropping the first set.
“I feel it was just communicating together and playing as one,” she said. “Then, it was sticking the pass because without a pass we can’t hit or set.”
Defense was a big part of the contest between both teams as the two teams had several outstanding rallies with hustling play and pancakes. The Cougars block was also huge as the Cougars had nine solo blocks and five assisted blocks. La’Treva Kennedy finished with four solos while Canavati had three solos.
The second set saw WNCC bolt to an 11-5 lead behind three points from Cordero. It was short-lived as McKayla Earl went on a 5-point service run to knot the contest at 11-11. Alex Hernandez stopped the run with a kill and WNCC moved out to a 15-11 lead on back-to-back Canavati kills. The Cougars stayed strong to earn the 25-17 win.
WNCC started the third set strong once again with a 10-5 lead only to watch the Golden Eagles come storming back on five points from Francesca Rossi for a 14-11 lead. WNCC went in front 20-18 after a Cordero kill and then four points.
LCCC bolted back to knot the third set at 20-20 after Emma Bonney served three points. Both teams went back and forth with five match points before WNCC got the 30-28 win on a Kennedy kill.
The fourth set was just as dramatic as the previous three. WNCC bolted to a 12-8 and led 17-12 after two Cordero points. WNCC kept playing strong the rest of the way to get the 25-20 win.
Cordero added eight digs and four aces to her 24 kills and 15 points to lead the team. Canavati tallied 15 kills with three solo blocks, while Luisa Beining and Kennedy each had nine kills. Hernandez tallied three kills with three assisted blocks.
Ana Costas finished the game with 23 digs along with seven points and three assists. Olivia Transfiguracion finished with 56 set assists, seven points, and three digs. Also for the Cougars, Adia Sherbeyn had five digs and five points, while Anabelle Gillen had 11 points and two digs.
WNCC, 20-5, will next be in action Friday when they travel to McCook Community College for a conference contest. McCook is 17-7 overall and on a five-match win streak including topping Northeastern Junior College in four sets.
Canavati said they just have to play strong and concentrate on themselves on Friday.
“I definitely know that it will be a good game and they are very competitive,” she said. “They are a very good team and we can’t let them get into our heads and take them for granted.”