Category Archives: College Sports

Broncs down WTC in three sets – still undefeated in WJCAC play

NMMI’s Paola Rivera-Herrera with the jump serve. Photo by Laura Brown

NMMI Sports Press

Megan Martinez wins a battle at the net. Photo by Laura Brown

Quick starts in all three sets led the New Mexico Military Institute Bronco volleyball team to another conference victory, keeping their perfect record intact in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play.

Playing at home against Western Texas College (13-16, 2-6), the Lady Broncos (24-11, 8-0) used a combination of a strong serves and relentless offense attacks to win in straight sets, 25-16, 25-21, 25-15.

NMMI never trailed in any of the sets, and built commanding leads in all three. They started the first set of the match with a 7-0 run, led in the second set 11-2, then went up 13-1 to begin set three.

“I think that our kids came out and played really well from the start,” said head Bronco coach Shelby Forchtner. “We talked to them about the way things happened the last time we played WTC on their home court and had to play five sets. They defended us exceptionally well – so we worked on hitting a harder angle and changing up our shot selection. I feel like our kids did a great job on that today. We executed what was open and Western didn’t have the opportunity to defend.”

McKayla Landreth attack over the middle. Photo by Laura Brown

NMMI had seven service aces in the match, including five by freshman setter and outside hitter Paola Rivera-Herrera.

“Another thing we wanted to do well in the match was to serve tough – and we did that,” continued Forchtner. “We had a lot of aces, we had them out of system, and we got a lot of down balls and free balls. When we serve that way, we can beat a lot of teams.”

On the offensive side, freshman Kim Trauboth led the Lady Broncos in kills with 10, but setters Rivera-Herrera and sophomore Mirna Kovačević did a great job mixing things up, allowing five other NMMI players to finish with five or more kills.

Outside attack by Gali Sanchez. Photo by Laura Brown

NMMI looked good on defense as well. Trauboth and Rivera-Herrera had 13 digs each, and sophomores McKayla Landreth and Gali Sanchez led the blocking brigade with 1 solo and 12 assisted blocks.

“We’ve got a good line-up on the floor to start,” explained coach Forchtner about the team’s success and four-game winning streak. “We kind of changed some things up a few weeks ago. Our big swings are out there to start, and we’ve changed the rotation so that our best server is serving first. I think it’s helped us start games well. That was one of our issues before, starting off slow, then having to come back to beat teams, with every game being close. And now we’re starting ahead in sets, which puts extra pressure on the opposing team, plus it helps us when we make an error or two, not to lose momentum and confidence, because we’ve still got a good lead.”

Pass off the serve-receive by Briana Bustillos. Photo by Laura Brown

But coach Forchtner knows there’s still some tough conference matches left to play.

“We’ve got the two toughest conference matches left, Midland and Odessa. Midland is the hardest place in the world to play. Everything about their environment is drastically different than what we play in normally: they have a huge arena with lots of airflow; their floor is a sport court, which we almost never play on; they have these crazy lights which blind you when you look up. So not only are we going to have to play our best volleyball, but we’ll also have to deal with all of those things.”

“Then we have Odessa back here at home, and they’re definitely one of the best teams in the conference. But this is exactly where we want to be, defending first place,” finished Forchtner.

Right-side attack by Hannah Davis. Photo by Laura Brown

The match at Midland College will be on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6:00 pm MDT.

The Lady Broncos will then finish up the regular season at home vs. Odessa on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2:00 pm MDT. The public is encouraged to attend that final match – which will be held at the Cahoon Armory gym on the NMMI campus – and help cheer on our Lady Broncos to what might be a WJCAC conference title and a first-place seed in the Region V West Postseason Tournament, which begins Nov. 3 in Odessa, Texas.

Great save by Kim Trauboth. Photo by Laura Brown

Broncos win a close one

Tj Williams reading the quarterback against Tyler JC.

Tyler, TX – The NMMI Broncos (3-5, 1-5) garnered their first SWJCFC win of the season against the Tyler JC Apaches (5-3, 3-3) Saturday afternoon in Tyler 17-14.

Although many mistakes were made in the first half, the Broncos came out fired up in the second half.

Coach Joe Forchtner said, “We just needed to clean some stuff up at halftime, but we have been making some progress.”

Along with the adjustments made at halftime, TJ Williams made a spectacular play that would change the course of the game and give the Broncos the win.

Williams took a punt by Tyler Dunlop all the way for a 63-yard score to give the Broncos the lead with less than four minutes in the game.

Williams said, “At first I tried to secure the catch on the run, but I muffed it.”

After Williams picked up the ball, he made several guys miss and then received a key block to spring him to the end zone.

“When I picked up the ball I looked to the right because it was always open and trusted my teammates and my instincts. I had some great blocks on the sideline and tried to put the ball in the end zone so we could get the win.”

The Bronco defense put together an impressive stop as they forced a fumble and recovered the ball the NMMI 39 yard line.

”Our defense has been playing really good and I feel like if we don’t beat ourselves offensively we can win the nasty games like the one today.

“We told our players this week that if scored on a special that we would win the game and we took a punt return back to the house,” said Forchtner.

NMMI hits the field next Saturday against Navarro for homecoming at 2:00 PM MDT.

Bronco tennis competes against top juco players at Gene Hardman Invitational

NMMI soph Francisca Nyarko with a baseline backhand during play in her opening-round single match


Cut shot by soph Marcel Agbegne during Pool A singles play.

NMMI Sports Press

Four the top junior college tennis teams in the nation made their way to Roswell, NM for this weekend’s Gene Hardman Invitational Tournament.

Men’s and women’s teams from Collin College, NMMI, Pima Community College, and Seward County Community College converged on the NMMI campus at 7:30 am on Friday, ready for some singles and doubles action.

NMMI soph Mikayla Lopez

According to head NMMI Bronco women’s coach Dan O’Connell, the two-day tourney consists of three singles flights and one doubles flight. “Each singles flight has two players from each team, so eight total. Every player will play three singles matches, and at the end we’ll have a place for each player – first through eight. For doubles, all twelve teams, two from each school, will compete in a single bracket.”

NMMI soph Kukutla Motlojoa

Coach Connell continued with why they started hosting the Gene Hardman Invitational. “We wanted to honor a great NMMI coach, Gene Hardman, who passed away four years ago. He was a two-sport All-American cadet-student-athlete at NMMI, a Vietnam veteran, and an outstanding multi-sport coach at NMMI.

“We’re very happy to be hosting this tournament,” said head Bronco men’s coach Daniel Dominguez. “As a coach, this is my second time being involved with the Hardman Invitational, and I think we’ve already had a great opening day.”

NMMI soph Becsave Pacheco

Marcel Agbegne and Kukulta Motlojoa competed in the top men’s singles bracket for NMMI. Agbegne dropped his opening match to top-seeded Tim Lamare from Seward but came back with a win over Pima’s Cody Petford to advance to tomorrow’s 8:30 am match for 5th place. Motlojoa won his first-round match against Pima’s Francisco Sotelo, then fell in the semi-finals to Collin’s Akinori Wada. He’ll play tomorrow at 8:30 am as well, in a match for third place.

In Pool B, NMMI’s Orlando Santillanes and Ned Merrion both lost their first two matches. They’ll face each other tomorrow at 8:30 am to decide seventh place.

NMMI frosh Ned Marrion

In Pool C, NMMI’s lone contender Samuel Walsh had to withdraw due to an injury.

In men’s doubles action, Agbegne and Motlojoa teamed up. After an opening-round bye, they dropped their quarterfinals match to Seward. Tomorrow afternoon, they’ll play two matches to try and fight back for up to a fifth-place finish.

The Merrion and Santillanes tandem lost their opening doubles match to Pima, then won against a combined team from Seward and NMMI to advance to a match for ninth place tomorrow.

Overall, I think our NMMI men’s team played well today against some very tough competition,” said coach Dominguez. “We’ve definitely still got some things to learn, but at this level, playing opponents of this caliber, the experience is invaluable. Hopefully it will help us compete when we start our season next semester.”

NMMI frosh Megan Lynch

On the women’s side, both Francisca Nyarko and Mikayla Lopez won their opening matches in the Pool A singles flight, then lost in the second round. They’ll play each other tomorrow in the match for third place.

In Pool B flight singles, Megan Lynch won her first match easily, then lost 10-8 in a super tie-breaker in the second round. “She did very well against a very tough opponent from Seward,” said coach O’Connell. Lynch will play for third place tomorrow against Pima’s Emma Oropeza at 9:45 am.

Also in Pool B, NMMI’s Becsave Pacheco lost in two close sets to her first-round opponent from Pima, then fell to her second-round opponent from Seward. She’ll play Pima’s Jayme Shafer for seventh place in a match tomorrow beginning at 9:45 am.

NMMI frosh Orlando Santillanes

In Pool C, Kathy Clouthier dropped both her opener and second round matches – she’ll play Pima’s Ashley Fitzsimmons for seventh, also schedule for tomorrow at 9:45 am.

In women’s doubles, Lopez and Nyarko will play in the championship match. They had a bye in the first round, then bested Collin’s duo in the semis. They’ll face Seward’s top tandem, Patricia Panta and Steffany Bermudez tomorrow afternoon for first place.

“Our girls today did pretty well,” said coach Connell. I’m especially proud of my top double team. Franny and Mikayla are both sophomores who have done an exceptional job here at NMMI. They’re not only great tennis players who will be playing for a title tomorrow, but they’re also great students and ranking members of the Corps of Cadets.”

NMMI soph Kathy Clouthier

“What’s great about this tournament is that it allows schools to play teams they normally would be able to,” finished coach O’Connell. “The trip from Tucson, AZ (where Pima CC is located) to Liberal, KS (Seward County CC’s hometown) is more than 12 hours. But by meeting here in the middle, at NMMI, it cuts those travel times in half, and allows schools to play multiple opponents, all in one weekend trip.”

The Hardman Invitational continues tomorrow at the Institute tennis courts, with play beginning at 8:30 am. The public is invited to come out and watch some great tennis action by some of the top juco players in the nation.

Broncos go 2-1 at San Jac Tri

Karen Rivera-Herrera goes up for a serve against Lee College on Saturday.

Pasadena, TX – New Mexico Military Institute Had a strong showing this past weekend at San Jacinto College and went 2-1.

Karime Raygoza gets one of her 35 defensive digs this weekend.

On Friday the Broncos took on San Jacinto College and lost 0-3 (25-18, 25-17, 25, 18).

Saturday was a different story for the Broncos, as they would defeat Victoria College 3-0 (25-10, 25- 9, 25-21) and Lee College 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-10).

Gali Sanchez passes a serve to the setter.

Sophomore outside hitter Hannah Davis and freshman outside hitter Kim Trauboth led NMMI (22-11, 5-0 WJCAC), over Victoria College. Trauboth finished with nine kills, three service aces, nine defensive digs and two block assists. Davis would add seven kills, five service aces, five defensive digs and two block assists.

McKayla Landreth goes up for a kill against San Jac.

McKayla Landreth also had a strong game. She hit .375, had seven kills and six blocking assists.

NMMI ended the game against Victoria College with a hitting percentage of .274, 33 kills and 14 aces.

Kim Trauboth get one of her 29 digs this weekend against Lee College.

Leading the Broncos over Lee College was freshman setter/outside hitter Karen Rivera-Herrera. She obtained an attacking percentage of .350, 10 kills, 18 assists, one service ace and six defensive digs.

Landreth had another strong game offensively with eight kills and an attacking percentage of .429. she also added an assisted block.

Gali Sanchez added seven kills with an attacking percentage of .500 and also added one defensive dig.

NMMI returns to action as they head to face Frank Philips College on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM CDT in Borger, TX

Broncos best Bulldogs in three

Pancake dig by NMMI’s Mirna Kovacevic.


McKayla Landreth winds up for a big swing.

NMMI Sports Press

The NMMI Bronco volleyball team kept their perfect WJCAC conference record intact, downing Clarendon College at home in three straight sets: 2

5-14, 25-17, 25-18.

It was ‘Dig For The Cure’ night at the Cahoon Armory gym, and the pinked-out arena and packed house helped propel the Lady Broncos to a 20-10 overall record; 6-0 in conference.

Before the match, the Lady Broncos took time to honor local breast cancer survivors.

“For our part of Cancer Awareness Week, we wanted to take things a step further by actually reaching out to women in the Roswell community,” said head coach Shelby Forchtner. “We wanted the whole night, from start to finish, to be about them, to get them back out and around people – people that were giving them hugs and writing them letters, just making them feel good. Because going through cancer treatments is extremely trying on your body and it can be easy to just isolate yourself at home.”

Set by Paola Rivera-Herrera. Herrera also had 7 kills in the match.

After the introduction honors and starting line-ups were finished, it didn’t take long for NMMI to jump out to a commanding lead in the first set. The Institute never trailed in any of the three sets, and wowed the crowd with huge hits all night long.

“There were lots of seams for us to hit tonight, and we’re pretty good at hitting the hard cross,” said Forchtner about the big swings on offense. “So when Clarendon left that open, we told our players that’s going to be the shot, until they make an adjustment.”

Four Broncos had five kills or more in the match, with Gali Sanchez and Hannah Davis tying for the lead with eight each.

“We were able to utilize a lot of different people,” explained the coach. “Gali played well, Hannah played well, and I thought Megan Martinez played really well. We used Megan more and more as the match went on and it was good to see the setters trusting in her and getting her the ball.”

Megan Martinez goes up for kill.

Martinez finished the match with six kills and two aces.

She also praised her defense, who had some dazzling saves as well.

“I thought we did a good job on defense all the way around – there just wasn’t much that we let hit the ground,” said coach Forchtner. “Our block did a great job of setting the tempo.  We’re starting to learn that we don’t have to block everything straight down. Tonight we were getting touches non-stop and then were able to score off of that.”

Libero Karime Raygoza was NMMI’s digs leader with eight; Kim Trauboth was close behind with seven.

Next up for NMMI is the San Jac Tri-Match, where the Lady Broncos will square off with San Jacinto, Lee and Victoria Colleges.

Kim Trauboth gets one of her seven digs on the night.

“San Jac and Lee are both very good teams,” said Fochtner. “San Jac is always in the top 20, and Lee is one of those powerhouse Texas schools. This is our last big road trip – the rest of the way is the second half of conference play – and we’re looking forward to trying to get some wins against big teams.”

The next conference match for NMMI will at Frank Phillips College on Oct. 18. Their next match at home will be a Saturday match at 2 PM on Oct. 21 vs. Western Texas College.