Northwest College

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NWC Volleyball Sweeps Region Openers

Courtesy of the Powell Tribune

Home court advantage paid off during the opening weekend of Region IX play for the Trapper volleyball team, which swept Eastern Wyoming College 3-0 and Laramie County Community College 3-0 at Cabre Gym on Friday and Saturday.   

A test awaited in the first match of the weekend, with the Lancers (1-15 overall, 0-2 Region IX North) coming to do battle with the Trappers (14-6 overall, 2-0 Region IX North).

Northwest started slow, trailing 5-1 early.

Coach Scott Keister called a timeout, trying to settle his team down after the early deficit.

Eastern Wyoming continued the strong start, keeping the lead and extending it to 12-5 — forcing another timeout by Northwest.

Trailing 14-7, the Trappers used a 6-1 run to get back in the contest — forcing a timeout by the Lancers.

Northwest tied the match at 18, and later took the lead 23-22 to force the second timeout by Eastern Wyoming.

The Trappers finished the set, escaping with a 25-22 win.

A faster start in the second set helped the Trappers take control early, holding a 6-3 lead and later pushing it to 14-9 before a timeout by Eastern Wyoming.

Northwest started to take advantage of tips over the Lancer defense, playing short hits over the wall to get easy points.

“Our normal attack was struggling,” Keister said. “They had a weakness where they were not picking up tips, so we started tipping.”

The lead extended to 22-14 before another timeout, and Northwest finished with a 25-15 second set win.

Northwest hit .467 as a team for the set, finishing with 16 kills to only two errors.

The third set was a battle between the two teams, with the pair tied at 9-9 early.

Northwest opened a lead up to 17-14, but Eastern Wyoming answered to tie the set at 18.

The Trappers used a strong 7-2 finish to close out the match and finish with a sweep to start Region IX play.

“I think the crowd struggled to get into it a little bit because it was not flashy or big, powerful moves, but you find a way to win,” Keister said.

Megan Pannell led the way with 13 kills on a .429 hitting percentage. Setting duo Emma Hanson (22) and Kamri Hutchings (20) helped the Northwest cause, and Ellie Thomas finished with 15 digs with three aces.   

Following the victory Friday, the Trappers welcomed LCCC (9-9 overall, 0-2 Region IX North) to Powell on Saturday looking to start conference play 2-0.

Northwest came out firing early and often, taking the first set 25-16 while finishing with 16 kills to only four errors.

“On Saturday something just clicked,” Keister said. “LCCC is a good team, but we had a game plan and stuck to it. LCCC is well coached, made good adjustments, but they just caught us on a day where we were firing on all cylinders.”

That continued over the next two sets, as the Trappers continued the hot hitting with a 25-19 victory in the second set and a 25-16 final set to sweep the Golden Eagles and extend the Northwest win streak to five games.

Kim Pannell led the way for Northwest finishing with 12 kills and only two errors. Thomas finished with 20 digs while Hanson (18) and Hutchings (16) led the way in assists.   

The Trappers now head out on the road for a seven game swing, which started Wednesday against No. 11-ranked Central Wyoming (12-6 overall, 2-0 Region IX North).

“We are on the road for three weeks now and need to try and get off the bus and play,” Keister said. “I think there are some weaknesses in Central but every team has those. They are a very good team, no doubt about that.”

That contest determined who took the early lead in the north as the Trappers and Rustlers sat atop the standings. 

Northwest then gets a small break from region play on Tuesday, heading to Billings to take on the Rocky Mountain JV at 7 p.m.  

Kills — Megan Pannell 13, Kim Pannell 11, Jocelyn Sanders 8, Brooke Palmer 4, Sidney Parker 4, Elsa Clark 2, Kamri Hutchings 1
Assists — Emma Hanson 22, Kamri Hutchings 20, Ellie Thomas 1
Digs — Ellie Thomas 15, Kim Pannell 8, Emma Hanson 4, Elsa Clark 4, Megan Pannell 4, Mia Sorensen 2, Sidney Parker 2, Kamri Hutchings 2, Brooke Palmer 1
Aces — Ellie Thomas 3, Emma Hanson 2, Megan Pannell 1, Kamri Hutchings 1
Blocks — Elsa Clark 3.5, Jocelyn Sanders 2.5, Sidney Parker 2, Kim Pannell .5, Brooke Palmer .5

Kills — Kim Pannell 12, Megan Pannell 8, Sidney Parker 6, Brooke Palmer 4, Jocelyn Sanders 3, Kamri Hutchings 2, Elsa Clark 2
Assists — Emma Hanson 18, Kamri Hutchings 16, Ellie Thomas 2, Elsa Clark 1
Digs — Ellie Thomas 20, Kim Pannell 12, Brooke Palmer 3, Kamri Hutchings 3, Megan Pannell 2, Elsa Clark 1
Aces — Megan Pannell 3, Ellie Thomas 2, Kim Pannell 1, Kamri Hutchings 1
Blocks — Elsa Clark 2.5, Kim Pannell 2.5, Brooke Palmer 1.5, Jocelyn Sanders 1.5, Sidney Parker 1