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Lopes Volleyball Start Region Play Strong; Now on the Road for Three Matches


By Betsy Barnett

October 19, 2016
     After a wild opening weekend of conference play, the Lamar Community College volleyball team sat at 2-1 in what promised to be a tight race for the top spots in Region IX-South.
      The Lopes opened with what may be an historic victory for the program. For the first time – according to available records – in LCC volleyball history, the Lopes beat Northeastern Junior College, winning in five tense set.
 
      "It's pretty amazing, if that's the case," LCC head coach Dante Geoffrey said. "Everything long-time Lopes fans and LCC staff have told me, and as far back as we can see in our records, the Lopes have never found a way to beat NJC, at least at home. Until now."
 
     The Lopes wrapped up the three-day home stand with a straight-set (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) win over McCook on Saturday, with a straight-set loss to No. 1-ranked Western Nebraska (23-25, 20-25, 20-25) on Friday.

     "Results wise, it was about as good of a start to region play as we could have hoped for," Geoffrey said.

      Lamar got out to a quick start in the 25-11, 22-25, 16-25, 25-17, 16-14 win over NJC, but, as the Lopes expected, the well-coached visitors made the match a battle.
 
      "We talked about it between the first and second sets, we knew the rest of the match wouldn't be as easy as the first set was, and it wasn't," Geoffrey said. "We knew it was coming, and they (NJC) still managed to pull away for a while. NJC raised their game and it took us a couple sets to get back up to their level."
 
      The Lopes gave up a 13-10 lead in the fifth set to find themselves tied at 14 in the winner-take-all set. Lamar used the same combination of touches for the final points in the match-clinching win.

      NJC's attack on the following play was dug by Freyre, which led to another Hoskie-to-Francisco connection for the deceptive off-speed winner.
 
     Sophomore right side Tanaia Hansen had 13 kills and freshman outside Jordan Graham added eight.
 
      Lamar's second Region IX win came in competitive three-set match against McCook.
 
      Hansen led the Lopes with 12 kills on just 19 attempts (.632 hitting efficiency) as the Lamar offense finished with 40 kills and a .326 hitting efficiency in the win.

       While Friday's match against the 2015 national runners-up went the minimum three sets, the Lopes found a way to make each frame competitive. Of Western Nebraska's 13 straight-set victories this season, only Lamar has scored at least 20 points in each set.
 
      This weekend was Dig Pink and Sophomore Night as LCC played their final home games of the season.  Those that came out to support the two events got their money's worth and then some The Lopes fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 to Trinidad before pulling out the five-set (23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 15-8) victory Lamar now sits at 15-10 overall and 3-2 in Region IX-South play.

      Sophomore outside Larissa Francisco had a team high 15 kills to go with 8 digs.  Sophomore right side Tanaia Hansen had 10 kills, five digs, and three blocks. 

      The Lopes hit the road for three Region IX-South matches this weekend playing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  and 41 digs from sophomore libero Andreia Bomfimr and 41 digs from sophomore libero Andreia Bomfim.

      Sophomore outside Larissa Francisco had a team-high 15 kills to go with eight digs. Sophomore right side Tanaia Hansen had 10 kills, five digs and three blocks. Freshman Jordan Graham also scored 10 kills and six digs. Freshman middle Michelle Batista matched her season-high with six kills to go with three digs and three blocks.

     The Lopes hit the road for a trio of Region IX-South matches next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

     Sophomore outside Larissa Francisco had a team-high 15 kills to go with eight digs. Sophomore right side Tanaia Hansen had 10 kills, five digs and three blocks. Freshman Jordan Graham also scored 10 kills and six digs. Freshman middle Michelle Batista matched her season-high with six kills to go with three digs and three blocks.

      The Lopes hit the road for a trio of Region IX-South matches next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
 

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