Northwest College Volleyball Confident for Playoffs
Written by Cole Havens on March 30, 2021
It’s been a long road for the Northwest College Volleyball team. They had their fall season moved to the spring, uncertainty surrounded if they’d even conclude a season and here we are, the 30th of March and Trapper Volleyball is set for postseason play. The Lady Trappers concluded their 2021 spring season 13-11 overall, 5-8 in league play. A drastic improvement from the fall of 2019 when they won just five games. The field is set for the NJCAA Region IX Volleyball Tournament which begins Wednesday in Casper and Trapper Volleyball will be taking on a familiar opponent, Otero Junior College, who they saw twice in the regular season and played in the first round last year. Head Coach Scott Keister on the teams confidence heading into postseason play.
“I think we’re confident, not based on who we’re playing but just based on how we’re doing right now and the improvement that we’ve shown. I mean, obviously our side of the region is really strong. Otero’s a nice team, they’re big. They’ve got some big kids in the middle and on the right side. So it’s a challenge for our hitters a little bit to find some seams and find some hands and get around it. The nice part is, we’ve seen them twice before. Obviously, it was early in the season. So we’re a much different team and I’m sure they are too. We’ll be sitting down and watching film on them and kind of getting a feel for where they’re at.”
Trapper Volleyball heads into tournament play having won three of their final six matches. But it’s less about wins and losses for the Trappers at this point as coach Keister says they’re finding their stride at just the right time.
“We hit a little bit of a lull about halfway through our conference but we’ve figure some things out, we changed our line-up a little bit and I think the kids feel good about where we’re at and we’ve been seeing the improvement every day. Not just every match but everyday in practice as we’re tracking things. So that’s exciting for them. I think they’re going in with a lot of confidence.”
Northwest College is a very young team, 13 freshman on the roster with a few sophomores sprinkled in but adds this sophomore class knows what it takes to be successful.
“every Monday, we call it mindset Monday and we put a lot of work into the mental piece of the game. So kids really enjoy it. It opens up the ability to see things outside the bigger picture. I think, for this team, the big thing, especially for our sophomores that were on the team last year, they’re going into this Region Tournament knowing it’s not a guaranteed loss. I think that’s how they went into it last year. And this year they’re like ‘hey we can win this match,’ we’ve just got to bring all the pieces to the table. And then who knows what we can do after that.”
As the saying goes defense wins championships and that’s just what Coach Keister is hanging his hat on but says it’s going to take everybody being all in, all the time.
“We talk about that every day. And it’s not just for the match but it’s every single contact of the ball. We’ve got to be engaged and ready to go and sacrifice for our team. You know, you started to see that this weekend where kids are flying over the bench trying to get a ball up, running through teammates and doing whatever it takes to keep that ball alive. That’s really what we need, is that mindset of just going all out all the time.”
The Northwest College Volleyball team takes on Otero Junior College in the Region IX Tournament Play-in game Wednesday at 10am. Win and your in, lose and your season is over. Stay tuned to the Big Horn Radio Network for results.