ROCK SPRINGS – The #3-seeded Western Wyoming Community College Mustangs could not sustain their momentum from Thursday’s big victory over Casper College, and they fell to top-seeded Northwest College in three games on Friday afternoon. They now move into the bottom bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will play the winner of Friday night’s matchup between Sheridan College and Laramie County Community College at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
The Mustangs held leads in the match’s first and last games on Friday but had a rough middle set in which they trailed by double digits at one point. The final tally was 18-25, 16-25, 19-25.
“You can’t fear your opponent, and I felt like we kind of went in in fear of playing them,” Mustang Coach Wendy Bider said after the game. “They’re a good team, and mentally I don’t think we were prepared to step it up to that level. We’d played two great matches prior to that, and so I don’t know where the disconnect was. But we’re going to work on that between now and tomorrow at noon. We have to bounce back and be mentally tough, or secure, and not let people rattle us.”
Sheridan bumped Casper out of the Region IX Tournament earlier in the day with an upset victory. LCCC lost to NWC on Thursday, and so both teams had one loss headed into Friday’s nightcap.
If Western wins its noon matchup tomorrow, the team will advance to a 2 p.m. rematch with NWC. If the Mustangs win that one, there will be a final championship match at 4 p.m. Northwest College is currently ranked #3 in the nation in NJCAA Division I.
“We want to play three more games tomorrow,” Bider said. “I think these gals are competitors and I know they want to win. We just probably needed to get that one out of our system.”