NWC News Desk
Trappers knock out RockyPosted by: NWC Athletics — September 8, 2009
NWC Spikers Win in Cody Debut
By RANDAL HOROBIK
Tribune Sports Editor
The Northwest College volleyball team improved to 4-1 overall this season with a 25-18, 26-28, 25-19, 27-25 victory over the Rocky Mountain College JV in Cody on Wednesday night. Despite the win, NWC head coach Flavia Siqueira saw a lot of room for improvement in her team's performance.
"I'm not very pleased with the way we played tonight," Siqueira said moments after the contest. "Some of the kids seemed very intimidated by being at home and having a crowd cheering for them. We didn't have our best game, that's for sure."
The Trappers "home away from home" opener began innocently enough as Northwest grabbed a five-point lead by the midway point of the first game. Although the Battlin' Bears scored five of the next six points to pull back to within a point, Northwest quickly re-asserted authority to once again go up by five points and continued to pull away to claim game one.
Game two was an entirely different story. Rocky Mountain scored six of the first eight points and added an early run of six consecutive points to grab a 13-5 lead.
The scoreboard remained heavily in favor of the Bears, 20-11, when the Trappers finally found life. Northwest ripped off a streak of seven straight points, including a pair of ace serves by freshman Danielle York.
The Trappers continued to rally grabbing a momentary 22-21 lead before the momentum stalled and Rocky Mountain re-gained the lead. Northwest fought off the Bears' first four attempts at game point before breaking through on its fifth try for a 28-26 win, knotting the contest up at a game apiece.
"It hurts when you make a run like that and can't win the game," Siqueira said. "We worked hard for like 10 points there, and you want to win when you do that. That said, we never should have been in that situation to begin with. We can't fall that far behind. You can't play following the other team."
Northwest appeared to regain its stride early in game three. The Trappers scored five of the first seven points for a quick lead, only to watch as the Bears fought back to knot the contest at 7-7. The game remained tight with the score being tied on five additional occasions.
The last of those deadlocks occurred when the Trappers recorded a point to knot the score at 17-17. The Trappers added five more points onto their late-game flurry to capture game three.
The fourth game of the night followed a similar script. Northwest and Rocky found themselves tied four times early before the Bears constructed a 15-11 lead. The Trappers answered with four consecutive points to trigger another series of ties on the scoreboard.
Northwest emerged from the last of those ties to build a slim 24-22 lead and move within a point of victory. Rocky Mountain tallied three straight points, moving to within a point of forcing a decisive fifth game and prompting Siqueira to call a time out and chastise her squad for failing to finish.
Northwest College responded to the coach's remarks by scrambling for a point to deny Rocky Mountain its game point. The Trappers followed with two more points to score the victory.
Sophomore Irelis Ilarraza played a key role in Northwest's late surge. The Trappers made a point of going to their Venezuelan hitter both early and late in the match.
"We were able to switch things up in the fourth game and get her on a different middle that couldn't block her as well," said Siqueira. "It was a matchup we thought we could use."
Ilarraza finished with 19 kills and a pair of ace serves on the night. Paula Barros led the way with 24 assists and Katie Gregg had four aces as the Trappers served up 15 total as a team.
The Trappers also had a bright spot in the play of freshman setter Danielle Stewart, who narrowly missed sharing team-high honors after finishing with 23 assists. The Corvina, Cal., native was able to flick some quick touch sets across the net into open areas of the floor at pivotal times Wednesday night.
"Danielle has great vision," acknowledged Siqueira. "She's still getting used to where to set the ball to all her new teammates, but she has the potential to be a great setter for us.
"It was great for us to play a game here in Cody and I want to thank Cody High School for having us and having the gym set up for us," said Siqueira. "Hopefully the folks in Cody enjoyed coming to watch us play."
Northwest College was back in action last Friday against Williston State College. Due to the Labor Day publication schedule at the Powell Tribune, results from that game were unavailable for today's issue and will appear in Thursday's sports section.
The Trappers are back in action tonight (Tuesday) for a 7 p.m. contest against Sheridan College. The game will take place in Cabre Gymnasium.