HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The Laramie County Community College volleyball team captured 9th in its final match at the NJCAA National Tournament in a 3-1 victory over Mineral Area College (22-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-23), on Saturday afternoon at Hutchinson Sports Arena.
LCCC completed its season 32-9 overall with a Region IX North Regular season title and District C Championship.
Sophomore Avery Nelson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and freshman Jazzy Espinoza (Cheyenne, Wyoming) paced the Golden Eagles with 17 and 15 kills respectively, while sophomore Kylie Martin (Gypsum, Colorado) wasn't far behind with 11 kills. Espinoza held a hitting clip of .385. Sophomore Kasandra Sturges (Parker, Colorado) recorded 47 assists, while also adding four tip kills.
Mineral Area got off to a quick 12-4 lead in the first set, but a kill by Martin got them back on the track. The team traded points with the Cardinals taking a seven point lead at 21-14. A series of short runs got LCCC back in the match at 22-23. The Cardinals answered with a run of their own to take the set, 25-22.
The second set saw Golden Eagle Espinoza ignite the team. A couple of runs by the Golden Eagles would prove to be an early game changer as Mineral Area never gained the lead for the remainder of the set, resulting in the Golden Eagles winning set two, 25-22.
Laramie County gained momentum in the third, taking an early 6-4 advantage. MAC came back to take the lead at 9-8, but it only lasted four points as a 5-2 run set the Golden Eagles ahead once again. LCCC have the lead for five points and then MAC regained the lead. Knotted at 25-25 a kill by Nelson and a service ace by Meltzer sealed a 27-25 third set win for the Golden Eagles.
Back-to-back kills from Espinoza and Nelson helped LCCC to an early 11-9 lead to open up the fourth set. Laramie County continued on its run and took the lead to 18-14. Mineral Area went on a run and gave them a lead at 22-21. The game would be tied at 22-22 and a kill from Martin gave the Golden Eagles a 25-23 victory in the fourth set.