Though the season didn’t go as planned for the Laramie County Community College volleyball team, with a 11-24 record, head coach Keri Coats couldn’t have been more proud of her girls.
“Overall, it was a really productive growth year,” Coats said. “ I know that we can all agree the record isn’t what we want it to be, but towards the end of the year you can tell how much we had improved and that we were ready to just build off of that.”
Though the team did have a losing record, the women’s team participated in the Region IX Volleyball Tournament.The women’s team came into the tournament as the third seed out of the North. The women’s first game was Nov. 6 against Lamar Community College.
“So we beat them in three,” Coats said. “It’s a nice solid game to start out an early morning because we don’t normally play in the morning.”
After the win LCCC played against the hosting team, Northeastern Junior College.
“That afternoon we lost to five,” Coats said. “That was a tough one for us because we were up the first two sets and just couldn’t hang on a bit.”
With the loss to Northeastern, it put the team in the contenders bracket against McCook Community College the next day.
“We lost that one in four,” Coats said. “Not the end result we wanted for sure but we put up really good numbers and really good play, so I think we can be proud of what we put forth in the tournament.”
Cassidy Nelson was one of the standouts on the team. Nelson set a school record for the most kills in a match twice. The first being against Western Nebraska Community College on Oct. 18 with 27 kills. She broke her own record during the final game of the regular season against Northwest College on Nov. 2 with 29 kills.
“She was our outside hitter, played all the way around,” Coats said. “She was probably the most notable in the stats. She also received all-region honors for the North.
Gwen Sheldon is one of our setters who also received the all-region award as well.” Sheldon led LCCC in assists with 911. She also recorded 213 digs and had a season-high 56 assists against Northwest College.
“Some big names region-wise, but I also believe our sophomores were crucial a crucial group to have overall.” Coats said. “We had some really solid play at the end of the year from the sophomores. And then that growth from the freshman.”
With the tournament being the last game for the team till next fall, the team will use the Spring semester to build and practice to become better players for the upcoming season.
“Spring is such a fun time for us training wise,” Coats said. “When we start in the fall, we kind of hit the ground running. Now we can just take a step back and evaluate where we really need to build.”
According to Coats, the freshman have seen how the season goes so all are eager to get back in and improve.
“We’ll play in about four tournaments in the spring,” Coats said. “But all are for training purposes. They don’t count toward our record, so starting in February is when we really go. We’ll practice pretty much everyday and do a lot of individual training or small groups. It’s also a really great route for recruiting purposes for those students who want to transfer out from us.”