CHEYENNE – Inexperience cost the Laramie County Community College volleyball team against Northeastern Junior College on Tuesday.
The No. 9-ranked Golden Eagles had momentum going into the fourth set, but 14th-ranked Northeastern Junior College rallied for a 25-20, 18-25, 19-25, 25-16, 15-6 victory.
“We just got comfortable and complacent,” first-year LCCC coach Keri Coats said. “You could tell that everyone being young and new to their role caught up with us. We need to keep working on things so we won’t be as nervous when we step on the court.”
LCCC (0-4) forged an 11-5 lead in the first set before Northeastern used a 7-1 run to knot the score at 12-12. The frame saw three more ties and three lead changes after that. The Plainswomen took a 15-14 lead when a ball off the ceiling shot away from LCCC.
The Eagles took the lead for good in the second set when freshman Paige Blevins was blocked wide for an 11-10 lead. That point started an 8-1 run that put them ahead 18-11.
The third set was more of the same with LCCC taking the lead early.
“We were meshing as a team, everyone was doing their own job, and playing well the entire time,” said sophomore Cassidy Nelson, who had a team-best 24 kills.
Northeastern raced out to a 7-0 lead in the fourth set. It extended that lead to 14-6 when Kinley Coe killed an overpass from LCCC.
The Eagles capitalized on hitting errors to claw their way back into the set, cutting the lead to three points three different times.
“We started off really slow and were never really able to bounce back,” Nelson said. “We made some runs, but we weren’t able to keep them going long enough to catch up with them.”
The Plainswomen took a 3-0 lead in the fifth set. They got two kills from Coe and one from Taylor Burns to extend the lead to 9-3. Devin Ruble punctuated Northeastern’s win with a kill.
“(Northeastern) got momentum on their side and then really started playing fast and we couldn’t catch up,” Coats said. “We never really had any control at that point. We weren’t taking them out of system, we weren’t pushing balls that kept them guessing and got us easy balls.
“We had a couple chances but couldn’t capitalize on them.”
Blevins – a Cheyenne Central graduate – posted nine kills for LCCC, while Kalme Moncavo added five. The Eagles had 10 blocks as a team.