SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – The Eastern Wyoming College volleyball team opened the season Wednesday evening falling to No. 18-ranked Western Nebraska Community College in three sets.
The Lady Cougars scored the first five points of the first set before a service error put the Lady Lancers on the scoreboard. It was one of only nine points EWC scored in the first set in the 25-9, 25-19, 25-14 sweep at the hands of Western Nebraska.
“It was the first game of the year and a lot of freshmen on the court,” EWC coach JD Wisener said. “That’s not normal, especially in the conference we are in. We definitely are developing the leadership and where we want to go. Always sucks to lose, but at the same time, I feel like we have plenty of room to grow.”
The first kill of the Lady Lancer season went to Torrington High School alum Avery West to make the score 11-3 WNCC in the opening frame.
In the second set, it was a much different story for Eastern Wyoming.
“Between those sets, we definitely stepped up our talking,” Wisener said. “We stepped up what our game plan was. We talked about this is what is going to happen, and this is what we are doing. We finally realized it’s not as scary as we thought it was. That was more of the game that I was planning for.”
Back-to-back kills by freshman Ana Djurovic and sophomore Makenna Reinert gave the Lady Lancers a 2-1 lead. Neither team led by more than two points throughout the set.
With the score tied at 15 following another West kill, the Lady Cougars strung together a small run scoring six of the next seven points to pull away for the second set victory.
In the third set, Djurovic gave EWC a 4-3 advantage following a kill, but Western Nebraska scored 10 of the next 11 points to untimely pull away for the sweep.
Wisener said there are a couple of areas the team will focus on heading into this weekend’s tournament in Colorado, speaking on serve receive and blocking at the net.
“You are either great at it at the beginning of the season, or you work into it,” he said. “We want to focus in on blocking.”
No stats from the match were available at press time.
The Lady Lancers (0-1) are back in action this weekend at the Trinidad State Junior College Tournament in Colorado. They face Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College at noon and host Trinidad State at 5 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, they wrap up play against Frank Phillips (Texas) College at 11 a.m.