WNCC women seeded third in national tournament
     2013-11-21      By The Gering Citizen   
Courtesy photo - The WNCC volleyball team, sporting their Think Pink shirts during October's Breast Cancer Awareness match, are ready for the NJCAA national tournament which begins Thursday at 9 a.m. The Cougar players include (front) Amanda Schoene, Morgan Broussard, Lindsay Wehkamp, Erika Goodwin, Luiza Martins, Rachael McCracken, and Cassandra Hernandez; (back) Leticia Silva, Kylie Fa'amoe, Kayla Martin, Gabriela Varela, Allora Tanner, and Priscila Mendes. 
SCOTTSBLUFF — The pairings for the National Junior College Athletic Association volleyball tournament in Casper, Wyo., have been released and the Western Nebraska Community College Cougars, who are making their 15th straight appearance at nationals, is seeded third.

The Cougars, 37-3, will open play at the national tournament Thursday morning at 9 a.m. when they face No. 14 Hutchinson Community College at 9 a.m. Hutchinson comes in with a 27-10 record. The winner will advance to play a 5:30 quarterfinal match against the will of No. 6 Salt Lake Community College and No. 11 Hill College.

WNCC coach Giovana Melo said Hutchinson is a good team and she just wants her team to go in and focus on playing well.

“We watched them on video and they look like a really good team,” she said. “They have an outside hitter that broke a lot of records at the school. They beat some pretty good teams and competed against some other teams. We have to go in with the right mind set.”

And, Melo said, her team is ready.

“We are going in as, us coaches, learning about the other teams, but for the players we want them to go in and focus on themselves,” she said. “If we can focus on ourselves and play well, then we can win the battle against anybody.”

The rest of the first-round match-ups will have No. 7 College of Central Florida facing No. 10 Northwest College, No. 2 Tyler Junior College taking on No. 15 Wallace State; No. 1 Blinn College facing No. 16 Gadsden State; No. 8 Arizona Western taking on No. 9 North Idaho; No. 5 Hillsborough facing No. 12 Missouri State-West Plains; and No. 4 Iowa Western taking on No. 13 New Mexico Military.

Melo said this tournament is up for grabs with the parity of the teams in the country.

“Honestly, this year, every game will be a pretty good game,” she said. “It has been like that all season long with teams beating other teams and teams coming from behind in beating top-seeded teams. I think it will be a big battle and we are going in to fight.”

The College had a public send off for the team on Tuesday, wishing the team good luck.

The team team left for Casper around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and had a scheduled practice session at the Casper Events Center Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. Their first match in the national tournament begins today at 9 a.m. against No. 14 seed Hutchinson Community College.

The contests can be heard on KOZY, 101.3 or on the web at wyobraskaradio.com. Video of the matches will be streamed at NJCAATV.com.

NJCAA National Tournament

Thursday, Nov. 21

9 a.m. – Game 1, WNCC vs. Hutchinson, Game 2, Salt Lake vs. Hill

11 a.m. – Game 3, Central Florida vs. Northwest, Game 4, Tyler vs. Wallace State

1 p.m. – Game 5, Blinn vs. Gadsden State, Game 6, Arizona Western vs. North Idaho

3 p.m. – Game 7, Hillsborough vs. MSU-West Plains, Game 8, Iowa Western vs. New Military

5:30 p.m. – Game 9, winners of 9 a.m. games, Game 10, winners of 11 a.m. games

7:30 p.m. – Game 11, winners of 1 p.m. games, Game 12, winners of 5 p.m. games

Friday, Nov. 22

10 a.m. – Game 13, Game 1 and 2 losers; Game 14, Game 3 and 4 losers

12 noon – Game 15, Game 5 and 6 losers; Game 16, 7 and 8 losers

2:30 p.m. – Game 17, Game 9 and 10 losers; Game 18, Game 11 and 12 losers

4:30 p.m. – Game 19, winners of games 13 and 14; Game 20, winners of games 15 and 16

6:30 p.m. – Game 21, winners of Game 9 and 10; Game 22 – winners of Games 11 and 12

Saturday, Nov. 23

10 a.m. – 9th place — Game 23, Winners of Games 19 and 20

12 noon – 7th place – Game 24, Losers of Games 17 and 18

2:30 p.m. – 5th place – Game 25, Winners of Games of 17 and 18

4:30 p.m. – 3rd place – Game 26, losers of Games 21 and 22

6:30 p.m. – Championship – Game 27, Winners of Games 21 and 22

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