NMMI Sports Press
The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco volleyball team went 5-0 last the week, keeping their perfect record – now at 17-0 – untarnished.
NMMI picked up their first Western Junior College Athletic Conference win on Wednesday against New Mexico Junior College, needing all five sets to down the Thunderbirds, then collected a quartet of victories at Hutchinson's Blue Dragon Classic over the weekend, including three-set wins against two nationally-ranked opponents: No. 7 Tyler Junior College and No. 14 Mineral Area College.
The Institute's other two wins in Hutch came against Missouri State University – West Plains, where they again needed five sets, and Jefferson College in four.
While head Bronco volleyball coach Shelby Forchtner was definitely happy with how her team played overall last week, she still has several concerns, including how her squad competes against teams without as many offensive weapons or defensive abilities.
"When we play good teams, we play out of our minds," said coach Forchtner. "Every single time that we have played competitive teams that are good at everything, we have played at a really high level. We seem to offensively click better, serve a little bit tougher, play better defense – just very balanced in everything that we do, and it shows statistically. But then when we go face teams that aren't as good as us defensively or offensively, that maybe only have one or two weapons, we just seems to play at what we're looking at across the net."
And again, just like last week, the keyword for the Lady Broncos going forward will be 'adjust'.
"We just have to be able to adjust better to some of these teams. We did a better job with this – in some situations – at Hutch, but we've still got to be able to make minor adjustments during a match," said Forchtner.
Sophomore libero Hula Crisostomo had another amazing week for the Broncos, who sit currently in at No. 5 in the NJCAA's D1 rankings for the second straight week. In 20 sets over five matches, Crisostomo dug out 126 opposition attacks, good for a 6.3 digs-per-set average. She also led NMMI in aces, with seven.
The all-around performance of NMMI freshman middle Vittoria Price was another big reason the Bronco volleyball team was able to keep their undefeated record intact. Price had 46 kills in 20 sets with a .376 attack percentage, earning her WJCAC Player of the Week honors. She also hit five aces, had 22 digs, one solo block and 18 block assists.
Sophomore outside hitter Violeta Mendoza Quintana had the highest kill total for NMMI with 47 and second in total digs with 69. Frosh Alyssa Lukasik was close behind with 41 kills while leading the Institute in blocks with three solos and 19 assists. Soph Gabriela Langi also hit the 40 kill tally and double-digits in blocks with one solo and 14 assists.
Next up for NMMI is their second WJCAC match, on the road against another NJCAA-ranked opponent, No. 16 Odessa College. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 PM CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
"They are good," said Forchtner emphatically about the Wranglers. "They are a very offensive team and we are a very defensive team. They are big across the board with threats coming from every angle of attack. I think we'll be able to hold our own defensively, like we've been doing all season long, but our offense is really going to have to step up, like they did against ranked teams like Snow, Yavapai and Tyler."
After the mid-week conference tilt, Forchtner and her team fly out to Florida for the Viking Invitational, hosted by St. John's River State College in Palatka, where they'll get to compete against four teams from the Sunshine State over the weekend.