Category Archives: Bronco Volleyball

Broncos finish season in top ten

The Bronco volleyball team closed out the season with three wins to finish in ninth place at the 2019 NJCAA National Championships. They also posted a program best mark for wins in a single season, with a 38-5 overall record.


NMMI Sports Press

HUTCHINSON, KS – The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco volleyball team closed out the season with a trio of wins at the 2019 NJCAA D1 Women’s National Championships to finish as the ninth best junior college team in the country.

The Broncos started the season off at a gangbuster pace, winning their first 25 matches, resulting in a climb in the nationals polls all the way up to fourth. NMMI ended the regular season ranked No. 8 with a 33-4 record and earned their place at the 16-team national championship tournament – held this year in Hutchinson, Kansas – via an at-large bid.

At nationals, NMMI was selected as the No. 9 overall seed. They played No. 8 Hillsborough Community College in their first match on Thursday, Nov. 21, and lost in a five-set heartbreaker.

The Broncos won the first set 25-19, but then let the Hawks – from Tampa, Florida – take sets two and three with scores just as close: 25-20 and 25-18.

NMMI rallied back to force a fifth set with a 25-20 win in the fourth, but fell five points shy in the final set,15-10.

On Friday in the consolation bracket, the Broncos bounced back with two wins, securing their spot in the final NJCAA rankings as one of the top ten teams in the country.

NMMI galloped past the sixteenth-seeded Monroe College Mustangs in Friday’s first match, coming back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth set (25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 27-25), then needed just three sets to fly by the Panola College Fillies (25-15, 25-16, 25-22).

Freshman outside hitter Julia Johnson topped the Institute in kills in the Monroe match, knocking down 17 shots, while the NMMI defense looked top-notch with 83 digs and 16 blocks. Four Broncos had double-digits in digs, led by sophomore libero Hula Crisostomo’s 22. Freshman Alyssa Lukasik was big in the middle with seven assisted blocks.

Against Panola, NMMI’s offense showed up in force with Bronco attackers putting up an outstanding .367 kill percentage as a team. Johnson again led the team in total kills with 13. Sophomore outside hitter Violeta Mendoza Quintana was close behind with 12, and three other players came close to double-figure kills: soph opposite-side hitter Gabriela Langi with 9 kills, and 8 kills each by Lukasik and freshman middle Vittoria Price.

Crisosotomo averaged six digs per set vs. the Fillies for her 18 total during the match.

The pair of wins advanced the Institute into Saturday’s consolation championships and force a re-match of the Region V West Championships against Odessa College.

Despite dropping the first set to the seventh-seeded Wranglers, NMMI needed just four sets to win the match and take home a ninth-place finish at nationals: 23-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-20.

Johnson and Price were the big hitters for the Broncos against Odessa with 11 and 10 kills, respectively; Mendoza and Lukasik were close behind, each with nine.

But it was again the Bronco backcourt that really made the match go NMMI’s way. Forchtner’s crew dug out 86 Odessa attacks, and combined to block another 14, paving the way to the win.

Crisostomo collected 23 of those digs, while sophomore setter Barbara Celler corralled another 17.

With the triad of wins and sole loss at nationals, NMMI finishes their 2019 campaign with a 38-5 overall record, setting a new mark wins in a single season by the Bronco volleyball program.

“Our defense was firing on all cylinders, and our offense absolutely annihilated them,” said Forchtner about the Broncos three-set win against Panola in Friday’s second match. “That gave our team a lot of confidence going into the Odessa match.”

When asked about what is next for the Bronco volleyball program now that the season is concluded, coach Forchtner just smiled before replying emphatically “We work. We take a week off and then go back to work,” which helps explain a large part of why this was the fourth consecutive trip to nationals for head coach Shelby Forchtner and her volleyball squad, and their sixth in seven years.

Broncos bounce back with pair of wins

NMMI blockers Heleine Filipe and Alyssa Lukasik team up for the block against the attack by Panola College’s MiKayla Ware. Bronco Tiffinay Gauspohl waits in back for a possible tip or deflection.


NMMI Sports Press

After dropping their opening match at nationals on Thursday, the New Mexico Military Institute Bronco volleyball team bounced back with two wins on Friday, securing their spot in the final NJCAA rankings as one of the top ten teams in the country.

NMMI came back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth set to gallop past the Monroe College Mustangs in their first match on Friday (25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 27-25), then needed just three sets to fly by the Panola College Fillies (25-15, 25-16, 25-22) and force a re-match of the Region V West Championships against Odessa College tomorrow in a game to determine 9th place.

Freshman outside hitter Julia Johnson topped the Institute in kills in the Monroe match, knocking down 17 shots, while the NMMI defense looked top-notch with 83 digs and 16 blocks. Four Broncos had double-digits in digs, lead by sophomore libero Hula Crisostomo’s 22. Freshman Alyssa Lukasik was big in the middle with seven assisted blocks.

Against Panola, NMMI’s offense showed up in force with Bronco attackers putting up an outstanding .367 kill percentage as a team. Johnson again lead the team in total kills with 13. Sophomore outside hitter Violeta Mendoza Quintana was close behind with 12, and three other players came close to double-figure kills: soph opposite-side hitter Gabriela Langi with 9 kills, and 8 kills each by Lukasik and freshman middle Vittoria Price.

Crisosotomo averaged six digs per set vs. the Fillies for her 18 total during the match.

With the pair of ‘W’s, NMMI’s record moves to 37-5 on the season. They’ve got one final match left, against Odessa College on Saturday (Nov. 23) at 10:00 AM CST.

That match will be streamed live on the njcaatv.com website.

Bronco volleyball earns bid to Nationals!


NMMI Sports Press

The team that wins the Region V West Volleyball Championships earns an automatic bid to nationals.

The New Mexico Military Institute Broncos have won that title and gone to the NJCAA D1 Women’s Volleyball Championships for the past three years straight, and five out of the last six.

But this year Odessa College won the post-season tourney, downing the hosting Broncos last Saturday in the Cahoon Armory gym in three sets: 25-20, 25-21, 25-20.

NMMI won their semi-final match earlier in the day, needing just three sets (25-19, 25-6, 25-16) to advance past Midland College and move on to the finals for yet another showdown against the Wranglers. NMMI and Odessa had meet twice previously during the regular season: NMMI won in five sets at Odessa on Sept. 25; the Wranglers returned the favor in five at NMMI on Oct. 19.

Against Midland, the NMMI attack looked impressive, collecting 38 kills on 92 attacks, while committing just 11 attack errors. Freshman middle Vittoria Price led the Broncos on offense with 10 kills and a whopping .600 kill percentage.

The Bronco defense looked solid as well with 16 blocks, 56 digs and only 1 reception and 1 ball handling error. Price was again at the top for blocks with 5 assists; sophomore libero Hula Crisostomo was the leader in digs with 17.

But against Odessa, NMMI’s attack seemed to evaporate. They still knocked down almost as many kills in three sets as they did against Midland (36 compared to 38) but the number of attacks increased to 120, and, even worse, the number of attack errors almost tripled, with 31.

NMMI also made 5 reception and 5 ball handling errors in the championship match against Odessa.

Top swinger for the Broncos was freshman middle Alyssa Lukasik with 9 kills. Price again led the block category with 6 assists, and Crisostomo in the digs column with 24.

With the win and loss in Saturday’s postseason play, NMMI’s overall record moved to 34-4. That is a very impressive record, currently the best win/loss percentage in the sixteen-year history of the Bronco volleyball program.

14th-year head coach Shelby Forchtner hoped that record – along with a long list of wins this season against nationally ranked teams and a No. 8 final regular-season national ranking – would be enough to earn one of two at-large bids to the NJCAA National Championships, held this year in Hutchinson, Kansas on Nov. 21-23.

But the Broncos had to wait until Tuesday at 11:00 AM, to find out they were, indeed, selected.

“We realized we are not very patient,” laughed a relived coach Forchtner about the two-day wait between Saturday’s championship match and Tuesday’s announcement of the selections and seedings for nationals. “All of us – we all asked about a thousand times: ‘Are we going to nationals?’. Basically, we knew that our strength of schedule was just as tough as anyone out there left among the ranked teams who didn’t win their regional championship, and that our four losses were all to teams ranked 10 or higher. So we thought we had a pretty good shot.”

NMMI was selected as the No. 9 overall seed in the 16-team tournament. They’ll face Hillsborough Community College – the No. 8 seed out of Tampa, Florida – in the first round on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 1:00 PM CST. The Hawks posted a 30-8 overall record on the season and won their regional tournament to punch their ticket to nats, downing Polk State – the other at-large selection – in five sets.

“I’m just glad our kids are going to get the opportunity to continue to play,” finished up Forchtner. “I think everyone was a bit deflated after we lost [to Odessa], but I definitely think our team is one of the best teams in the country. This team has posted the best record in the school’s history so far, with a lot of accomplishments both as a team and individually. If we can put things together in the next two weeks, we can do some serious damage.”

“For us to get this at-large bid is a huge blessing,” closed the coach. “I know that the girls are super excited that they get a chance to compete at the national championships.”

Broncos hope for at-large bid after championship loss to Wranglers

NMMI’s Julia Johnson digs out an attack by Odessa in the Region V West Championship match on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Shutternut.

NMMI Sports Press

The team that wins the Region V West Volleyball Championships earns an automatic bid to nationals.

The New Mexico Military Institute Broncos have won that title and gone to the NJCAA D1 Women’s Volleyball Championships for the past three years straight, and five out of the last six.

But this year Odessa College won the post-season tourney, downing the hosting Broncos in the Cahoon Armory gym in three sets: 25-20, 25-21, 25-20.

NMMI won their semi-final match earlier in the day, needing just three sets (25-19, 25-6, 25-16) to advance past Midland College and move on to the finals for yet another showdown against the Wranglers. NMMI and OC had meet twice previously during the regular season: NMMI won in five sets at Odessa on Sept. 25; the Wranglers returned the favor in five at NMMI on Oct. 19.

Against Midland, the NMMI attack looked impressive, collecting 38 kills on 92 attacks, while committing just 11 attack errors. Freshman middle Vittoria Price led the Broncos on offense with 10 kills and a whopping .600 kill percentage.

The Bronco defense looked solid as well with 16 blocks, 56 digs and only 1 reception and 1 ball handling error. Price was again at the top for blocks with 5 assists; Sophomore libero Hula Crisostomo was the leader in digs with 17.

But against Odessa, NMMI’s attack seemed to evaporate. They still knocked down almost as many kills in three sets as they did against Midland (36 compared to 38) but the number of attacks increased to 120, and, even worse, the number of attack errors almost tripled, with 31.

NMMI also made 5 reception and 5 ball handling errors in the championship match against Odessa.

Top swinger for the Broncos was freshman middle Alyssa Lukasik with 9 kills. Price again led the block category with 6 assists, and Crisostomo in the digs column with 24.

With the win and loss in Saturday’s play, NMMI’s overall record moves to 34-4. That’s a very impressive record, currently the best win/loss percentage in the sixteen-year history of the Bronco volleyball program.

And 14th-year head coach Shelby Forchtner hopes that – along with a long list of wins this season against nationally ranked teams and a No. 8 final national ranking – will be enough to earn one of two at-large bids to the NJCAA National Championships, held this year in Hutchinson, Kansas on Nov. 21-23.

We’ll know more about those at-large bids as the other regional championship tournaments finish throughout the rest of the country, and will keep everyone posted via our NMMI social media sites.

Broncos sweep Bulldogs on sophomore night

Yumeno Nawa collects one of her team-high 13 digs against Clarendon College on sophomore night in the Cahoon Armory gym. Photo courtesy of Shutternut.

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco volleyball team swept Clarendon College in straight-sets 25-8, 25-15, 25-18 to improve to 32-3 on the year and 10-1 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference.

Violeta Mendoza Quintana led the Broncos in kills with 10 on the night. Alyssa Lukasik had a team high .889 hitting percentage (eight kills on nine attempts). Yumeno Nawa collected three service aces and also led the Broncos in digs with 13. Heleine Filipe and Nyanuer Bidit collected a team high three blocks each.

“I thought everybody contributed,” said head Bronco volleyball coach Shelby Forchtner. “Even players off of the bench contributed tonight. We started out a little slow in the third set with all of our sophomores out there. They got it together and it wasn’t too big of a change once they got comfortable.”

NMMI will face Western Texas College in their final regular season match before the Region V Tournament hosted by NMMI on Nov. 8-9.