Broncbuster volleyball goes 1-3 at McCook tournament

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Remi Vargas sets the ball to a teammate during a home volleyball match in March at Perryman Athletic Complex.

MCCOOK, NEB - Garden City Community College dropped three of their four matches at the McCook Tournament over the weekend with their lone victory coming on Friday - a three-set win over Lamar 16-25, 13-25, 18-25.

Laramie County

The Broncbusters played from behind right from the start on Friday. Christian Blake and Rigan McInerney combined for two crosscourt kills, the Broncbusters committed a couple of early miscues, and Laramie County had a 4-1 edge. That was followed by a Vanja Stefanovic attack error, and a Shae Halls' ace that put the Golden Eagles up by eight. But the Broncbusters fought back, and Laren Baldowsky's spike tied the set at 17. But Garden City never took the lead as Laramie County closed the frame on a 8-1 run.

The Broncbusters never recovered.

They nearly crawled out of a seven-point hole in the second before a couple of untimely errors and an ace by Micheala De Stefano gave the Golden Eagles the second set.


Early in this one, Garden City still felt the effects of a three-set loss to Laramie County. The Lopes, which the Broncbusters calmly dismantled in three sets on Aug. 24, were staring at 16-11 deficit in the opening stanza on Friday. That's when McKenna Jagels started the rally with a kill, Randi Crandall committed an error, and Baldowsky added a kill, fueling a 5-0 surge that tied the match. Garden City eventually took the lead following a Lamar service error and a Rachel Panzer ace. It was all part of a 14-4 run to close the set.

In the second set, the Broncbusters broke open a close contest with six straight points. Then, Baldowsky planted a vicious spike and Crandall committed another attack error that gave Garden City the frame.

In a closely contested third, Girogia Cappelletti's service ace gave the Broncbusters a 22-20 advantage. A Crandall attack error followed by another Cappelletti ace and an Alli Meng kill, gave Garden City their sixth win of the season.

Cappelletti led the way with 10 kills and five aces, Vargas had 25 assists, and Maria Carrusca chipped in 15 digs.

Iowa Western

Patrick Hiltz knew Saturday's opener would be a daunting challenge considering his team was facing the No. 1 squad in the country and the defending National Champions. And Iowa Western definitely lived up to the billing.

Delaney Esterling, and Dayan Malave each had nine kills, Elaina Bohnet added 14 digs, and the top-ranked Reivers shutdown Garden City 16-25, 13-25, 18-25.

After Iowa Western ran away with the opening frame, the Broncbusters kept things close early in the second, and Stefanovic's kill tied things up at 4. That's when the Reivers went for the kill, utilizing a 21-9 run that included an 11-0 surge to close the set.

Carrusca and Vargas each had 13 digs in the loss. Cappelletti added 12 kills.


The Broncbusters had their chances in Saturday's finale, but they failed to capitalize.

Thaynara Isabella had 15 kills, and Janie Sommer added three aces as McCook beat Garden City 22-25, 25-12, 16-25, 12-25.

"I think we played hard again, but we lost mental focus after winning the second set easy," Hiltz said.

Garden City looked like a different team in the second set. They used an 8-0 run capped by Stefanovic's kill that put them up 12-4. Hiltz's squad then stretched that to double figures following Victoria Thomas's attack error. That was followed up by another McCook miscue that gave the Broncbusters their largest lead of the set, 21-7.

But everything changed in the third. Trailing 19-15, the Broncbusters watched as the Indians rattled off the final six points of the set. Isabella smashed a kill, Jagels committed an attack error, Panzer had back-to-back lapses, and McCook was up, 2-1.

The fourth set was a mirage as McCook broke open a four-point contest with a 16-5 run to close out the match.

Stefanovic had 12 kills for the Broncbusters, which finished the tournament 1-3. Vargas had 28 assists, her second highest output of the season.

The Broncbusters are at Hutchinson for a 6 p.m. match on Wednesday, then return home for a 1 p.m. match on Saturday against Friends University’s junior varsity.