WNCC No. 3 seed at Nationals
     2016-11-18      By Media Report   
SCOTTSBLUFF - The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team will enter the NJCAA national tournament as the No. 3 seed when action begins Nov. 17 in Casper, Wyoming.

The Cougars, 34-4 and making their 18th straight appearance at the national tournament, will open the 16-team tournament against No. 14 seed Monroe College, out of New Rochelle, New York. Monroe enters the tournament with a 21-11 record. Thursday’s match is slated for a 9 a.m. with first serve at the Casper Events Center.

“I thought that was going to be where we would be,” WNCC coach Binny Canales said. “There are a lot of good teams there. I think it is fairly even for a lot of teams there. They are competitors so we are just going to prepare for what we know and keep going. Hopefully teams will have to adjust and we do our best.”

Canales said it is a must for his team to focus one match at a time and just compete.

“We will have to be ready to go because I know they will be ready,” he said. “We are kind of going in there blind because we don’t have film on them and we have never played them. The last time I played them was like 2013 [when I coached at Laredo] and their team is completely turned over by know, so we will prepare the best that we can. And they will do the same with us.”

The first-round of the national tournament features some interesting matchups.

“There are some matches that could go either way,” Canales said. “It is who just shows up and I am sure travel will come into effect on some teams. Right now we are taking it one match at a time. We worry about our first match and from there we will worry about who we play next.”

The top five teams at the national tournament include Panola College earning the top seed followed by No. 2 Iowa Western, WNCC, No. 4 Miami Dade College, and No. 5 Salt Lake Community College.

On WNCC’s side of the bracket is No. 6 Polk State against No. 11 Seward County Community College also at 9 a.m. The winner of that match will face the winner of the WNCC/Monroe match at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The losers will fall into the consolation bracket and battle at noon on Friday.

Other first round matchups include No. 1 Panola College (Texas) against No. 16 Hill College (Texas); No. 2 Iowa Western vs. No. 15 New Mexico Military; No. 4 Miami Dade vs. No. 13 Mineral Area (Mo.); No. 5 Salt Lake Community College vs. No. 12 Wallace State (Ala.); No. 7 Northwest College (Wyo.) vs. No. 10 Tyler Junior College (Texas); and No. 8 Sante Fa (Fla.) vs. No. 9 Arizona Western.

The first round winners will play in the quarterfinals on Nov. 17 at 5 and 7 p.m. The semifinals are slated for Nov. 18 and the championship will be Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Canales said his team needs to play like they did at regionals and play strong to stay on the winner’s bracket side.

“Right now we just to be efficient and do the things we know how to do well,” he said. “We will have to try to take them out of system and we need to pass the ball to stay in system. It is all the same things that we have tried to do all year and were successful at during the season. We just have to do it for one more week.”

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