Category Archives: Bronco Volleyball
CASPER, Wyo. – It was a tough opening match for the Bronco volleyball team at the NJCAA National Championships, losing in three straight sets to the team ranked No. 2 in the nation, Iowa Western Community College, 25-13, 25-7, 25-15.
“We had five kills in Game 1 and five kills in Game 2. You can’t beat a nationally ranked team with five kills,” said head coach Shelby Forchtner.
“I think with the first five points, we just got really scared. That was one thing I was hoping we wouldn’t do, because we have played all of these teams during the course of the regular season – everyone we’ve played has been nationally ranked. I was hoping that that would really prepare us for the national tournament and it didn’t – we just completely shut down.”
With the loss, NMMI drops down into a consolation bracket, where the best they can finish is ninth place. But that doesn’t mean Forchtner and her Lady Broncos are ready to pack up and go home. They play the tournament’s No. 10 seed, Tyler Junior College at 10 a.m. Friday morning, and both Forchtner and assistant coach Alonso Ibarra are getting their players ready for the match.
“A few years ago, we lost in the first round to a top-ranked team like Iowa Western, and then came back and got all the way to the match for ninth and tenth place,” explained Forchtner.
That year, 2013, was NMMI’s first foray into the championship tourney, and after the initial loss, the Broncos bounced back with a pair of wins, both against higher-ranked opponents.
“That’s what we’re focused on right now,” continued Forchtner. “We just met with our kids and went over the game plan and what we wanted to do – we’ve seen Tyler before. We know exactly what to expect.
According to Forchtner, Tyler is very different from the Reivers
“We knew that Iowa Western was very outside hitter dominant. I don’t think we could have shut down Iowa Western’s outside game today, but I definitely think we could have stopped them a bit better and gotten a lot more touches.”
Tyler, by contrast, has a very effective middle, and Forchtner thinks her Broncos match up better against the Apaches.
“It’s a different story tomorrow. We have the lineup to really compete with this team. It should be a pretty good match if we’ll come out there and play well.”
With a win, NMMI will continue on to the semis of the consolation bracket, with the next match scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday. A second win means another day’s stay here in snowy Casper, with a chance to win out on Saturday and finish as one of top ten junior college volleyball teams in the nation.
After getting an upset WJCAC conference victory as a team — an upset to anyone except maybe coach Shelby Forchtner and her squad — the Bronco volleyball team heads to the national tournament this week with four All-Conference players.
Sophomores Aleksandra Bilić, a middle hitter, outside hitter Katie Campbell and setter Cherish Sosi join freshmen middle blocker McKayla Landreth on the 12-player post-season team.
“All four of those kids have been big-time contributors for us the whole season,” Forchtner said. “They all four work really hard and they’re definitely all deserving of the all-conference nomination for sure.”
Forchtner said each coach is only allowed to nominate four players to the post-season team, “So the fact that all four of our kids got it is a great thing,” she said. “We try really hard not to focus on the individual accomplishments in a team sport, but it’s always good for those kids to be recognized.”
NMMI was the only team to have four players on the first team — Odessa had four, but one was honorable mention — and if she had been able to nominate five, Forchtner would have included freshman Hannah Davis.
“I think Hannah is right there with those four people, but the stats are based solely on conference play,” Forchtner said. “She did a whole lot better in the season than she did in conference, so that’s one of the reasons she wasn’t in the mix, too.”
With the national tournament on the horizon — the Broncos head to Casper, Wyo., Wednesday — Forchtner said the individual honors will take a temporary back seat to a much bigger goal.
“We want to go win a national championship,” she said.
The No. 15 seed Broncos face No. 2 Iowa Western Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Casper Events Center.
2016 WJCAC All-Conference
Aleksandra Bilić, middle
Katie Campbell, outside hitter
Cherish Sosi, setter
McKayla Landreth, setter
NMMI Sports Press
BORGER, Texas — All season long, Bronco volleyball coach Shelby Forchtner has been saying that her team can beat anyone, any time, as long as they play to their potential.
That happened Saturday.
NMMI won the Region V West tournament — their third in four years – beating three opponents, and now the team is headed to Casper, Wyo., for the 2016 NJCAA National Championships for the third time in four years.
After posting a regular-season conference record of 7-3 in the WJCAC, the Lady Broncos were seeded third in the postseason tourney, behind top-seeded Odessa College and No. 2 Midland College.
The three-seed also meant an extra match for NMMI, but the Institute netters had little trouble downing sixth-seeded Clarendon College in Friday’s opening round, taking three straight sets from the Bulldogs.
The win meant that NMMI would square off against Midland College in Saturday’s semi-finals, a team they had split with during conference play: Midland won the initial contest at home three sets to one, but NMMI returned the favor with a five-set victory back at the Cahoon Armory.
In the neutral-site showdown, Midland’s Lady Chaps took the first set, 25-22. The Institute trailed from the opening serve and allowed Midland to post a six-point lead, 10-4. The Broncos battled back to get within two several times, before finally taking a late-game lead, 22-21, after a trio of offensive points during a service run by Gali Sanchez.
A Midland timeout halted the NMMI rally with the Lady Chaps forcing a side-out when play resumed. MC then picked up the next three points to get the Game 1 win.
Game 2 was equally as close, but this time it was NMMI in the driver’s seat, cruising to a 25-21 win. The Broncos never trailed, and had their own six-point lead, 24-18. The Chaps made a furious comeback, taking the next three points, but NMMI ended any thoughts of a comeback with a kill from the outside by Hannah Davis.
Early on, Game 3 was a back and forth affair.
Midland’s first and only lead came at the 8-7 mark, but the Broncos forced a side out to tie, then went on a three-point run behind the serves of Katie Campbell. The Lady Chaps never got closer than three points after that, and NMMI slowly built up a lead that oscillated between three and five points before closing out the set with the final three points: a side-out off a kill by McKayla Landreth, a double-hit call on the receive after a serve by Maluhia Taula, and another kill by Landreth after a quick set over the middle by Cherish Sosi.
Final score for the third set was 25-19, and Broncs had the Chaps down two games to one.
Game 4 was the closest of all. NMMI went up 3-1, but Midland took the next four out of five points, surging ahead, 5-4. The Broncos wouldn’t re-gain that initial lead until much later, but they never let the Chaps move more than two points ahead, tying the game six times.
That sixth tie came on an NMMI dink, making the score 18-18. Sosi then came up to the line for the Institute.
Four kills and a block later and the Broncos were up by five, 23-18. Midland closed the gap with a side-out and a kill, 23-20. Campbell made it match point with a swing from the outside, but Midland won the next two volleys, 24-22. The game and match winner came on a dink from the right side by Davis.
The win over Midland put NMMI in the championship match against Western Texas College. Fourth-seeded WTC got the underdog win over Odessa College in five sets in the other side of the Region V West bracket.
The championship round went much the same way as the semis for the Lady Broncos, dropping the first set to the Westerners, 25-21. Western Texas led from the get-go, twice up by as much as eight points at 12-4 and 18-10.
In the second set, after an early 3-1 lead, NMMI quickly found themselves behind again 7-3. They battled back to within one with offensive points off serves by Taula and then Campbell, 10-9, then just as quickly saw that deficit expand to 15-9 during a five-point tear by the Westerners.
NMMI got the lead again during the service string by Taula. She ripped off two straight aces to bring the Broncs back to within two, 18-16, then served up five more points to give NMMI a 19-18 lead. WTC tied the set at 22 and again at 23 before NMMI got a sideout for set point and a block for the win, 25-22.
Game 3 was the close one in this match, with NMMI hanging on for another 25-22 win. There were 11 ties in the game, and NMMI could never pull ahead farther than three points, which they did twice, at 6-3 and 18-15. That final tie came at 21-all after an NMMI service error. But the Broncos bounced back with a side-out, then went up 23-21 after an ace by Taula. An NMMI reception error made it 23-22; a dink by Landreth made it set point; and Campbell hit the winner from the outside for the win.
Set four started out just as close as the third, with ties at 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, and then, after NMMI built a three-point lead, 15-12, again at 16 and 17. A pair of Campbell serves helped the Broncos push the margin back to two, 19-17, and the two teams exchanged sides out until Sosi again took the line for NMMI.
With her team up 20-18, the sophomore setter served up five straight points for the Broncos, giving her team the set and match, 25-18, along with the automatic nationals berth the tournament championships title bestows.
NMMI Sports Press
BORGER, Texas — The Bronco volleyball team made it look mostly easy over their first-round opponent at the Region V West tournament in Borger, Texas, Friday, topping Clarendon 25-12, 25-11, 25-22 to move into Saturday’s semifinal round vs. Midland College.
Game 1 was tied twice — at 1-1 and 2-2 — before NMMI slowly but steadily stretched the lead. The Broncos were up 14-7 when the Bulldogs called their first time out, which didn’t help as NMMI made it 16-7 on two more serves by Gali Sanchez before giving the ball back to Clarendon.
The Broncos allowed only two Clarendon offensive points, closing the game on an ace by Katie Campbell.
Game 2 was even easier, as a six-point serving run by Sanchez put NMMI up 8-2, then, after again allowing only two offensive points by the Bulldogs, Taylor Fritz served four straight points to make it 22-10 and Hannah Davis closed out the game at the line.
Game 3 was much tighter, as the Bulldogs went up 4-0 and held the lead until late. Bronco coach Shelby Forchtner called a time out with Clarendon leading 14-9, and the break worked, as NMMI got the ball back on a kill into the corner.
The Broncos tied it at 16-all on the third of three serves by Violeta Konculić, then 17-17 on a side out and 22-17 after five straight by Sanchez.
The ’Dogs didn’t give up, but after seeing the gap dwindle to 24-22, McKayla Landreth served the game and match point.
Campbell led the way on offense with 12 kills while Landreth had 10. Cherish Sosi tallied 29 assists, and Landreth had two aces while Sanchez and Campbell had one each.
Sosi picked up a dozen digs with Sanchez and Konculić getting nine each. The team had four blocks.
NMMI advances to Saturday’s semi-final at 1 p.m. CDT, and Forchtner knows the Broncos are going to have to pick up the pace.
“We have a much tougher opponent in Midland tomorrow so we are going to have to step up and play well,” the coach said. “We did some good things offensively today and we need to do that all day tomorrow.”
NMMI Sports Press
NMMI came out the gate slow, but, as is their wont, picked up the pace as the match went on. Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite top the Wranglers (19-1, 25-5), who will go into the Region V tournament in Borger, Texas, the No. 1 seed.
Midland (7-3, 18-13) will be the No. 2 team, with the Broncos (17-17, 7-3) in third, meaning they’ll have to play a first round game to advance to a rematch against either Odessa or the Chaparrals.
That tournament gets underway Nov. 4.