Lopes battle through winless weekend

Lopes battle through winless weekend

An already long road trip was made even longer for the Lamar Community College volleyball team last Thursday through Saturday.

The Lopes lost all three Region IX-South matches in straight sets, marking the first time they lost three consecutive games since the first three of the season.

Northeastern Junior College (22-25, 19-25, 17-25), No. 2 Western Nebraska Community College (17-25 20-25, 14-25) and McCook Community College (19-25, 19-25, 18-25) all swept the Lopes, who fall to 15-13 overall and 3-5 in region play.

"It's not like we didn't know this was going to be a grueling trip, and we definitely expected to handle it better than that," Lopes head coach Dante Geoffrey said. "NJC and Western Nebraska are perennial region title contenders, and McCook is much-improved from seasons past, but we vastly underperformed and we know it."

Two of the losses came against teams that previously lost in Lamar. The Lopes beat NJC in five sets on Oct. 6 and swept McCook on Oct. 8.

"We have to get that taste out of our mouths and finish this season strong," Geoffrey said. "The next two weeks don't get any easier so we have to rise to the challenges this region presents."

Lamar travels to Otero for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday and to Trinidad for a 1 p.m. match that concludes the regular season on Saturday.

The winless weekend wasn't without its bright spots, however. With a shorthanded traveling squad and a handful of players battling injuries, the Lopes' depth was on full display.

Sophomore Jordan Isom, of McClave, totaled a pair of aces and 13 total digs against WNCC and McCook. Isom was also one of the team's best passers, especially against last season's national runners-up.

"Jordan was incredible. She proved herself as someone who can step up at a moment's notice, and she did so against the top competition in the country," Geoffrey said. "She had the focus and fearlessness we needed, and she used her serve as a weapon."

Sophomore libero Andreia Bomfim notched 52 digs for an impressive 6.5 digs/set to lead the Lopes over the weekend.

"Andreia was her usual self, and even fought through a minor in-game injury to put up the type of numbers that will get the attention of four-year coaches," Geoffrey said.

Freshman setter/opposite Star Hoskie was second on the Lopes with 26 total digs, led in assists (39), and was third with 13 kills.

Sophomore Larissa Francisco had 17 kills and 20 digs in six sets of play and sophomore Tanaia Hansen had 16 kills and three blocks.

Sophomore setter Mya Yordan had 27 assists and 16 digs.

Freshman Kyndra Konig played in all nine sets for the Lopes and earned 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks.

Freshman Monea Ortiz had 22 digs and a pair of aces.