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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report says there are more doctors in Nebraska than there were 10 years ago, but 13 counties still don't have a primary care physician.

The Status of the Healthcare Workforce report issued Wednesday says data from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the state show the number of doctors has risen 11 percent.

The report says nearly a fifth of physicians in Nebraska are more than 60 years old and likely to retire in the near future. It also says 18 of 93 Nebraska counties have no pharmacist.

The report recommended more state support for programs and educational initiatives that provide incentives for health care professionals to practice in rural communities.


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(GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested two men and seized 149 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, a trooper stopped an eastbound 2017 Dodge Caravan for failing to signal near York, at mile marker 353. During the stop, the trooper observed a vacuum-sealed bag of marijuana plainly visible inside the vehicle.

Troopers and deputies from the York County Sheriff’s Office searched the vehicle and discovered 149 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $447,000.

The driver, Robert Rosenwasser, 56, of Florida, and Milton Coore, 53, of Jamaica, were arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession with intent to deliver, and no Drug Tax stamp. Both men were lodged in York County Jail.


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#1. 2018 Toyota C-HR donated by TEAM Auto Center - Garrett Dudden

#2. 2018 Honda Pioneer 500 donated by Sandberg Honda - Brock Schank

#3 .$2,000 Cash donated by McDonalds of W.Neb & Torr. WY - Jennifer Schwab

#4. 2 Rndtrip tickets donated by Skywest Airlines - Teresa Swank

#5. La-Z-Boy Recliner donated by Webber’s Furniture - Troy Ouderkirk

#6. Fire Pit Table & Chairs donated by Carr-Trumbull Lumber - Evelyn Bjordahl

#7. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Diane Vandenberg

#8. $250 in Gift Cards donated by Runza - Karol Nyquist

#9. 2 - 2019 Western Nebraska Pioneers Season tickets - Judy Howell

#10. $250 Gift Card donated by The Steel Grill - John Maser

#11. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Maria Lara-Montelango

#12. WNCC Family Athletic Pass - Juan Gonzales

#13. $250 in Gift Cards donated by Runza - Mike Rotness

#14. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Gina Cannon

#15. $200 Cash donated by KNEB - Stacy Keller

#16. WNCC Family Athletic Pass - Steve Cervantes

#17. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Debbie Edmuds

#18. One year of Car Washes donated by Paradise - Angela Miller

#19. 12 Haircuts in a year donated by Attitudez Salon - Nickole DeWitt

#20. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Jayme Hallman

#21. Birthday Party donated by Carpenter Center - mindy Reed

#22. 3 month Family Membership donated by YMCA - Zita Bolinger

#23. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Michael Miller

#24. $100 in Gift Cards dontated Runza - Ruth Kozal

#25. King Kong Pizza Dinner donated by Sam & Louie’s Pizzeria - Andrew Weber

#26. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Craig Rubottom

#27. $75 in Gift Cards donated by Runza - Trisha Luckinbill

#28. $100 Gas Card donated by WTT - John Farrington

#29. $25 Gift Card donated by Runza - Danielle Lenebeck

#30. 60 minute facial donated by Rachel Ann Esthetics - Kristen Mitzel


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Officers from the Chardon Police Department (CPD) and the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested a man who was wanted on multiple felony warrants after escaping from the Nebraska Department of Corrections Work Ethic Camp (WEC) in McCook, NE on December 21, 2016.

CPD’s investigation into the whereabouts of Charles Canaday, 37, determined that he was hiding at a residence in Chadron. On Wednesday evening, CPD requested NSP SWAT team assistance in serving a search warrant on the home at 502 West Niobrara Ave. While serving the warrant, NSP SWAT found Canaday hiding in the home and observed several items related to drug activity.

CPD obtained a second search warrant to investigate the suspected drug activity. Officers from both CPD and NSP seized several grams of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and multiple firearms and arrested two other men.

Charles Canaday was arrested and lodged in Dawes County Jail for outstanding warrants from Dawes County and Red Willow County related to his escape from the WEC, including Escape When Under Arrest on a Felony Charge, Attempt of a Class II Felony, Operating a Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest, Use of a Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony, Theft by Unlawful Taking ($500-$1,500) and a charge of Unauthorized Ingestion of a Controlled Substance from Fall River County, South Dakota.

At the time of his escape, Canaday was serving a sentence of six to 24 years for multiple Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief convictions from four Nebraska counties. His escape prompted an alert from the Nebraska State Crime Stoppers network. The Nebraska Crime Stoppers tip-line is always active at 1-800-422-1494 and can also be reached online at www.nebraskacrimestoppers.com.

During the service of the search warrant, Del Canaday, 31, and Gage Canaday, 27, were arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine and being an Accessory to a Felony. Both men were lodged in Dawes County Jail.


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The crash occurred at just before 11am on Thursday near mile marker 100 on Highway 385 in Morrill County. A southbound Jeep had crossed the center line and struck a northbound semi head on. The driver of the Jeep, Chester Shuster, 71, of Alliance was killed in the collision. It is believed that Shuster was suffering a medical episode at the time of the crash. A trooper and three civilians on scene performed CPR on Shuster paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced deceased on scene.

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GRAND ISLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT HELD TWO JOIN OPERATIONS OVER THE 4/20 WEEKEND AND ENDED UP  WITH 59 ARRESTS. CAPT JIM DUERING SAYS A LOT OF DRUG VIOLATION BUT THEY ALSO UNCOVERED SOME OTHER ITEMS.  INCLUDING HANDGUNS.THE FIRST OPERATION WAS DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH DISTRICT 9 STATE PROBATION OFFICE AND THE OTHER WITH DRIVE HIGH- KISS YOUR LICENSE GOODBYE WITH 5 OTHER STATES PARTICIPATING IN THE CAMPAIGN.  

Construction on 42nd Street - Phase 4 between Avenue B and Rugger Drive is scheduled to begin on August 8, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

42nd Street will be closed to all traffic from the intersection of Avenue B to Rugger Drive. The Detour route around the construction area will be Avenue B to Hwy 26 to 5th Avenue.

Construction of this phase is estimated to be complete by September 23, 2018. Additional information will be sent prior to the start of Phase 5.

Access will be as follows:

Elite Health Center/ESU #13/Owen Oral Survery/Sandstone Estates – Access will be provided from 42nd Street from the west via Highway 71 or from the east via Avenue B

Regional West Medical Center – Access to RWMC will be from the west via 42nd and Avenue B or from the east via 42nd and Rugger Drive

Residences on North side of 42nd Street between Avenue B and Rugger Dr – Access provided from a temporary road on the north side of 42nd Street. Contractor will notify residents.

Thank you for your cooperation during this project.



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67 people were removed from Nebraska roadways during the "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" campaign by the Nebraska State Patrol.  It ran from December 15th to January 1st.  63 drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated and 4 for driving under the influence of drugs.  


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On Friday, June 8, Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C and officers from the Grand Island Police Department conducted an undercover operation to target and identify individuals soliciting prostitution in the Grand Island area.

This was an operation of the Central Region of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force. The effort resulted in the arrest of seven individuals for soliciting prostitution.

In addition to attempting to rescue those being trafficking against their will for commercial sexual activity, other key tenets to the Human Trafficking Task Force are to attempt to reduce the demand for commercial sexual activity by conducting undercover investigations targeting and identifying sex buyers.

The following individuals were arrested and lodged in Hall County Corrections for Solicitation of Prostitution: Brandon Stickley, of Cairo, Craig Jones, of Kearney, Jesus Oliveros, of Grand Island, Buckley Haag, of Bartley, Michael Smidt, of Glenvil, Steve Cole, of St. Paul, and Mike Aipperspach, of Hastings.

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AUGUST 1, 2018 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested two men and seized 94 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Cozad.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, a trooper stopped a westbound 2018 Ford F150 for failing to signal near mile marker 227. During the traffic stop, a Dawson County  K9 detected the odor of a controlled substance coming from inside the vehicle.

A search of the pickup revealed 94 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $282,000.

The driver, Michael Hedges, 26, and passenger, Brandon Cannon, 25, both of Oregon, were arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession with intent to deliver, and no Drug Tax stamp. Both men were lodged in Dawson County Jail


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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Western Nebraska Community College men’s and women’s soccer team dropped contests to Salt Lake Community College on Thursday.

The Cougar men lost a tough one, battling back from a 3-0 halftime deficit before falling 3-2. The Cougar women fell 4-0 to the Bruins.

The men’s contest was a dogfight all game. WNCC outshot the Bruins 8-6, but couldn’t get the tying goal when they needed.

After Salt Lake took the 3-0 lead at halftime allowing the Bruins to score the third goal just seconds before intermission, the Cougars battled back in the second half.

Silvio Xavier started things for WNCC taking a pass from Ramses Atahualpa in the 62nd minute for the Cougar men’s first goal of the season. Xavier brought the team within a single goal after taking a pass from Thomas Franze in the 85th minute.

But the comeback fell short as time ran out.

Leandro Faria made nine saves in net after giving up three first-half goals.

The Cougar women played better than Wednesday’s 10-0 loss to No. 17 Snow College, but they still couldn’t find the back of the net.

Salt Lake scored twice in the first half for a 2-0 halftime deficit, netting goals 12 minutes into the game and then 24 minutes.

The second half saw WNCC play better to start. Salt Lake made it 3-0 with a goal in the 66th minute. Salt Lake earned a fourth goal in the 86th minute on an own goal.

Laramie Lake finished with eight saves in net.

Both teams will be back in action next week when they head to Gillette, Wyoming, for a pair of games. The women will face Northwest Wyoming on Saturday and Gillette on Sunday, while the men will battle Colorado Northwestern on Saturday and Gillette on Sunday.




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 LAMAR, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team ended their season with a 10-2 defeat to Trinidad State Junior College Saturday afternoon at the Region IX tournament in Lamar, Colorado.
                Trinidad State then scored three runs in the sixth inning to top Otero Junior College 4-3, setting up an if-necessary game on Sunday for the championship. The winner advances to face the Kansas regional at the Kansas team’ home site May 9-10 for a trip the national tournament in St. George, Utah.
                For the Cougars, it was a matter of not being able to find enough hits in the contest. The Cougars had just three hits compared to 15 for the Trojans.
                Madi Jackson led the team at the plate with two hits in the contest while Reagan Solomon had the other hit.
                WNCC struck first as Brooke Doumer scored on a Michaela Kelly hit for the 1-0 lead. Trinidad came back to plate one in the first and two in the third for a 3-1 lead. The Trojans added four in the fourth to expand the lead to 7-1.
                The Cougars tried making a comeback. WNCC loaded the bases in the sixth and then Solomon scored one with a sacrifice fly. WNCC left the bases juiced after that.
                Trinidad put the game away in the bottom of the frame, scoring three time to end the game on the 8-run rule.
                WNCC ends the season at 21-32 and will lose seven sophomores from this year’s team in Madi Jackson, Alyssa Guymon, Allison Parker, Brooke Doumer, Beanie Luttig, Chelsea Gorman, and Christina Nelson.
                The Cougars return six sophomores in pitchers Emma McMillan and Reagan Solomon, and starters Hannah Schaefer, Marlee Grant, Michaela Kelly, Gabby Loya, and Abriana Ramirez.
 
WNCC                   100 001 – 2 3 2
Trinidad                102 403 – 10 15 2
LP – Emma McMillan
 




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LAMAR, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team went 1-1 on the first day of the Region IX softball tournament Friday at Lamar, Colorado.

                WNCC scored two 8th-inning runs against top-seeded Lamar Community College in registering the 6-4 win in the first round. The Cougars then fell 8-6 in the winner’s bracket final to Otero Junior College.

                Other action in the tournament saw Otero defeated Trinidad 2-1. Trinidad State then eliminated the top-seed Lamar Friday night with a 4-2 win.

                WNCC will face Trinidad State in an elimination game on Saturday at noon. The winner will have a date with Otero at 3 p.m. in the championship. WNCC will need to win three straight, including an if-necessary game on Sunday to win the championship.

                The WNCC and Lamar contest was a championship-type of contest. Lamar, who defeated WNCC six times during the regular season jumped to a 2-0 lead after one inning. The Cougars sliced the lead in half with a single run in the third as Madi Jackson rips a 2-out triple to score Alyssa Guymon.

                Lamar responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 4-1 lead. After that, the Cougar defense stepped up to hold Lamar scoreless in the next five innings, including stopping the Lopes from scoring with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.

                In the meantime, WNCC started its comeback with a single run in the fifth on a Gabby Loya single that scored Guymon.

                WNCC tied the game in the sixth. Lamar walked the bases loaded. With two outs, Doumer reaches on an error that scores one run. Jackson then walked to bring in the tying run.

                Neither team scored in the seventh. The eighth inning saw Marlee Grant and Guymon each single. Doumer then rips a double to plate Grant with the go-ahead run. Jackson hits a sacrifice fly to plate an insurance run.

                WNCC finished the game with nine hits. Jackson led the way with a 3-for-4 game with a triple and three RBIs. Alyssa Guymon finished with two hits with three runs scored. Guymon had two walks. Doumer had the only other extra base hit with a double.

                McMillan picked up the win, going eight innings in allowing 10 hits and four early runs. McMillan struck out four and walked four while tossing 162 pitches.

                The game with Otero proved to be an offensive game as the two teams combined for 23 hits and 14 runs. WNCC struck first with Doumer ripping a solo home run.

                Otero responded with three in the second for a 3-1 lead. WNCC came back to plate a single run in the third as Michaela Kelly ripped a 2-out double to score Doumer and cut the lead to 3-2.

                Otero went up 4-2 with a run in the fifth. That was when WNCC started the comeback, scoring two in the sixth to knot the game at four. McMillan doubles to score Kelly for one run and then Grant got a 2-out double to score McMillan to tie the contest.

                WNCC couldn’t hold Otero down in the sixth as the Rattlers scored four times on four hits. All four runs came with two outs.

                The Cougars did get a comeback in the seventh, scoring twice. The first run came as Kelly doubled home Jackson and the second run came on a Reagan Solomon sacrifice fly.

                WNCC finished with 11 hits with six of them going for extra bases. Kelly led the way with three hits, including two doubles, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Doumer and Jackson each had two hits. Doumer had a home run with two RBIs and a run scored, while Jackson had a double with a run scored.

                Grant finished with a double and a run scored, while McMillan had a double with a RBI and run scored.

 

Game 1

WNCC                   001 012 02 – 6 9 1

Lamar                    202 000 00 – 4 10 1

WP – Emma McMillan

2B – Brooke Doumer

3B – Madi Jackson

 

Game 2

WNCC                   101 002 2 – 6 11 1

Otero                    030 014 x – 8 12 2

LP – Reagan Solomon

2B – Marlee Grant, Madi Jackson, Michaela Kelly 2, Emma McMillan

HR – Brooke Doumer





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                Christina Nelson and Chelsea Gorman spent two years with the Western Nebraska Community College softball team and never played an inning during the spring because of injuries.

                On Sunday, during WNCC’s final regular season home game and sophomore recognition, Nelson and Gorman were given an opportunity to be on the field with their teammates, serving as honorary base coaches for the first inning of game one with their game with Otero Junior College.

                The two, who hope to be coaches in the future, were shocked when their names were called over the PA system.

                “I had no idea we were going to coach the inning,” Nelson said. “It truly meant a lot to us that coach [Katelyn Groves] allowed us to do that. It was our way of being on the field for sophomore day and it was fun.”

                Gorman, too, was shocked but appreciated Coach Groves for doing something for them.

                “I was totally shocked when coach let Christina and I coach the team for an inning and be out on the field,” she said. “I thought it was really cool of her to let us have that moment with the team on sophomore day.”

                WNCC split the Region IX conference doubleheader on Sunday, falling 11-2 in game one before coming back to earn an emotional 10-9 win in game two in the sophomores last home game. Besides Nelson and Gorman, the other five sophomores recognized were Brooke Doumer, Alyssa Guymon, Madi Jackson, Allison Parker, and Beanie Luttig.

                Nelson said the second game was the way the team needs to play, minus the sixth inning when Otero scored nine runs. Nelson said it felt good to finish off the home campaign with a win.

                “Overall we did well. We played together as a team and did our jobs the second game and played hard the entire game,” Nelson said. “It’s definitely nice to go out on a win. I’m super proud of my teammates and the hard work they’ve put in all season long. They didn’t give up and they showed a lot of fight and for that I am proud of them.”

                Gorman said this team always has fight in them, even when the times get tough. That is what they showed in game two, plenty of fight.

                “The second game we got timely hits and worked as a team early in the game,” she said. “We were ready to go at the beginning and I think that is an important thing for this team. Overall, I think we are working in the right direction. I just love our team and I love the way we are able to fight and play for each other. Playing at home is always a great feeling and ending with a win makes it even better.”

                WNCC did show plenty of fight in the second game. The Cougars plated three in the first inning. Emma McMillan started things with a double and then loaded the bases. Gabby Loya was walked to force in the first run followed by Reagan Solomon scoring two runs with a single.

                WNCC added a single run in the second as Michaela Kelly singled home McMillan.

                WNCC went up 6-0 after four innings as McMillan and Doumer had back-to-back home runs.

                Otero responded with a thunder in the sixth, scoring nine times on nine hits. Eight of the runs game with two outs to grab a 9-6 lead.

                The Cougars responded right back in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. WNCC loaded the bases to start the inning as McMillan and Alyssa Guymon earned walks and Marlee Grant singled. After Guymon scored on an error, Madi Jackson singled to bring the Cougars to within 9-8.

                Kelly followed with a single to score McMillan and Doumer with the tying and go-ahead runs.

                The Cougars finished the game with nine hits. Michaela Kelly led the team with three singles with three RBIs and a run scored. McMillan finished with two hits, a double and home run with three runs scored. Doumer had a home run in the contest while finishing with two RBIs and th




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Western Nebraska Community College men’s and women’s basketball coaches Cory Fehringer and Chad Gibney will conduct basketball camps for girls and boys from grades Kindergarten through eighth grade June 25-27 at Cougar Palace.

Boys and girls grades kindergarten through fourth grade will go from 9 – 11:30 a.m.; girls in grades 5-8 will go from 1-3:30 p.m., and boys in grades 5-8 will from 4-6:30 p.m.

The cost for early registration is $75 while registration after June 11 is $85.

Both WNCC basketball teams went to the NJCAA national tournament last year. The men captured their first Region IX title since 2001 while the women earned an at-large berth to the national tournament.

For a camp brochure, click the camp tab or the camp banner on the WNCC athletic website at www.wncccougars.com. Contact Fehringer or Gibney, or assistant coaches Billy Engel and Roybell Baez for further details on the camp.




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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – The fourth-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team rebounded from Friday’s two losses in winning twice in the final day of the Reiver Invite in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Saturday.

The Cougars received double-double performances from Enna Masaka, Ana Costas, and Amryi-Grace Paris in taking down Jefferson College in four games 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-12. WNCC followed that up with a straight-game sweep of Barton Community College 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 to finish the opening tournament of the season with a 2-2 record.

In the opener against Jefferson, The Cougars had a strong serving game from Masaki with 18 points and five aces. Masaki had a near triple-double, finishing with 10 set assists and eight kills in the four-game win.

The Cougars trailed 15-11 to Jefferson in the first game before Masaki brought the Cougars back for a 16-15 lead. Later, Costas had three points for a 22-18 lead before a Kaile Tuisamatatele kill ended the first game 25-20.

WNCC got behind the 8-ball in the second set early, trailing 8-1 before mounting a comeback to fall 25-23.

That close loss inspired the team in the third and fourth games, capturing the third 25-21 and then rolling to a 25-12 win in game two.

Besides Masaki’s double-double, Costas finished with 21 digs and 13 points, while Paris had 15 kills and 10 points.

Leslie Lagafuaina finished with nine kills and two solo blocks, while Tuisamatatele had eight kills. Gabby Canavati tallied nine kills and three digs.

Jayme Commins finished with 31 set assists with seven digs, three points, and two kills.

Also for the Cougars, Aloni Jordan had two kills; Adia Sherbeyn had four digs, seven points, and two aces; and Logan Belford had two digs.

WNCC finished the Reiver Invite with an impressive win over Barton, where the Cougars tallied 44 kills and had three players with double-figure kills.

The Cougars won the first game 25-13 and then went up 2-0 with a 25-17 win over the Cougars from Kansas. WNCC finished off the sweep with a 25-23 win.

Paris led the way offensively with 14 kills. Paris also had nine digs and six points. Tuisamatatele finished with 10 kills and three points, while Masaki had eight kills. Masaki also finished with 13 digs, eight points, and five set assists.

Commins finished with a double-double, tallying 34 set assists with 11 points, eight digs, and two kills.

Also for WNCC, Canavati had five kills and two digs; Lagafuaina had five kills and two solo blocks; Sherbeyn had 16 digs and five points; and Costas had 12 digs and three points.

WNCC, 2-2, will be back in action Wednesday when they host No. 12 Laramie County Community College. LCCC went 3-1 at the Reiver Invite, defeating Indian Hills, Jefferson, and Barton, before falling in straight games to Iowa Western.

Wednesday’s first pitch is slated for 7 p.m. at Cougar Palace between the No. 4 and No. 12 ranked teams in the pre-season poll.




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WNCC Summer Camps are in full swing as yesterday the team camps were won at the Varsity level by Gering over Garden County and Scottsbluff Red won at the JV level. 

Here is a list of the upcoming camps that are on the summer agenda:
  • Volleyball Middle School Skills camp, July 16-19 – WNCC will hold a middle school individual skills camp in the morning from 8 a.m. – noon for middle school grades 6th through 8th grades. The camp will run for four days and costs $75 per camper.
  • Volleyball High School Skills camp, July 16-19 – WNCC will hold a high school individual skills camp in the morning from 8 a.m. – noon for middle school grades 9th through 12th grades. The camp will run for four days and costs $75 per camper.
  • Volleyball Setter, Hitter, Libero camp, July 23-24 – WNCC will hold a 2-day, 6-hour camp for setters, hitters, and liberos July 23-24. This camp will be an intense camp with a lot of reps and one-on-one instructions. The camp is for players in 7th through 12th grades and costs $100 per camper.
  • WNCC Soccer camp, July 23-27 – WNCC will hold two soccer camps the week of July 23-27 for ages 8 and up. The morning session, from 9 a.m. – noon will be for recreational soccer players to learn the game of soccer. Also during the morning from 9-11 a.m., there will be an 8-under camp. The evening camp is for advanced/competitive players and will run from 5-8 p.m. The cost for the camp is $90 per person, while the 8-under cost is $75. If a camper goes both session, the cost is just $160.

 All the camp brochures can be downloaded from the WNCC athletic website at wnccathletics.com. The camps are under the “Camps” tab.

For more information on the camps, contact the individual coaches via email or phone, or in the mornings call the athletic office at 635-6151.




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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – The fourth-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team dropped two games in the first day of the Reiver Invite in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday.
                
The WNCC women lost a hard-fought five-setter to Indian Hills Community College 25-12, 25-21, 21-25, 21-25, 10-15, before falling in three games to No. 3 Iowa Western Community College 18-25, 13-25, 25-27.
                
The Cougars will look to rebound with two matches on Saturday when they face Jefferson College and Barton Community College.
                
In the opening match against Indian Hills, the Cougars rolled to a 25-12 win in the first game behind an 8-point service run to open up a 10-7 game to a 19-7 contest. The second game saw the two teams tied at 8-8 before the Cougars put together strong serving for the win.
                
WNCC fell 25-21 in the third set. The Cougars led 19-15 but watched the Warriors come back to tie the game at 19 and then go up 23-20 before falling. The fourth game was just as tight with neither team holding more than a 3-point lead until Indian Hills won 25-21.
                
The fifth game was knotted at 10-10 before the Warriors reeled off five straight for the win.
                
Amryi-Grace Paris led the team with 16 kills while Sarena Bartley finished with 15. The Cougars also had Masaki, Kaile Tuisamatatele, and Leslie Lagafuaina all had seven kills.
                
Masaki finished with a double-double. Besides her seven kills, she also had 20 set assists, 12 points, nine digs, and two solo blocks.
                
Jayme Commins finished with 21 set assists, eight points, six digs, and three kills.
                
Also for the Cougars, Adia Sherbeyn had seven points and five digs; Tuisamatatele had five points, four solo blocks, three assisted blocks, and two digs; Ana Costas had 15 digs, five points, and two aces; Terri Takita-Robins had nine points and five digs; Paris had four digs and three points; and Lagafuaina had seven solo blocks and four assist blocks.
                
The Iowa Western match saw WNCC finish with just 28 total kills in the three games. Lagafuaina, Paris, and Masaki each had five kills, while Tuisamatatele led the team with six kills.
                
Costas tallied 16 digs followed five each from Commins and Sherbeyn.

Commins had 11 set assists while Masaki had nine. Lagafuaina had three solo blocks in the contest.




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The Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team have a little bit extra to play for now that the NJCAA national polls were released Wednesday morning.

The Cougars, who were 33-8 a year ago, enter this season ranked fourth in the pre-season polls.

The high ranking came somewhat of a surprise to head coach Binny Canales, but said it is an honor for his team.

“It is a huge honor. There are a lot of good teams out there that are returning good players,” Canales, who is beginning his fifth season at WNCC, said. “It is a big honor.”

This is the fourth straight year that the Cougars have been ranked in the top five in the preseason top five. The team was ranked number one in the pre-season in 2006 and 2015. WNCC has been in the top five in 13 of the last 14 years.

“We are used to that [target on our back]. We are used to everyone gunning for us and we just have to rise to the occasion,” Canales said. “We have to keep getting better at a good pace and stay realistic with our goals. We have to stay patient and take it one step at a time.”

Returning sophomore Sarena Bartley said it isn’t a surprise that they are ranked that high.

“Not surprising. We can definitely do it. Fourth is great. It is not 20th, but we are in the top five,” Bartley said. “It gives us huge hope, huge motivation for us to do better. It makes us want to do much more than what we can do. It will help us to work harder to achieve that and to get first this year.”

Defending national champions Miami Dade tops the pre-season charts with the College of Southern Idaho and Iowa Western at second and third respectively.

New Mexico Military, the team that defeated the Cougars in the first round at nationals a year ago, enter at number five. Rounding out the top 10 are Tyler Junior College, Polk State, Mineral Area, Seward County, and Hill College.

Laramie County Community College is the other Region IX team in the polls, coming in 12th.

Canales said the ranking should be something to build upon.

“Hopefully it [the ranking] does,” he said. “Hopefully it is something to build off of. We have a good recruiting class and some good returning players. We just need to keep getting better.”

WNCC returns six players from a year ago and has eight newcomers. After a slow start, Canales and Bartley said things are starting to pick up. The Cougars split a pair of scrimmages last Saturday, beating Metro State and falling to Nebraska-Kearney.

Bartley said the team is coming around.

“The team is looking good this year,” Bartley said. “At first it was like the individuals playing here and there. We have been practicing a lot and communicating. We have been more of a team these last few weeks. I am pretty excited for this year. This year will be my sophomore year, my last year here. I am excited to play all these good teams and go to Iowa Western soon and play them.”

The Cougars scrimmaged Eastern Wyoming College Wednesday afternoon and they have an alumni scrimmage at 2 p.m. on Saturday before opening up the season for real August 24 and 25 at the Reiver Invite in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The team’s first home contest is Aug. 29 when they host No. 12 Laramie County Community College at 7 p.m.




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TORRINGTON – The 11th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team needed four sets, but the Cougars claimed two wins at the EWC triangular Tuesday night in Torrington, Wyoming.

WNCC opened the triangular with a 25-17, 25-14, 17-25, 25-13 win over North Platte Community College before taking down Eastern Wyoming College behind Enna Masaki’s 17 kills 23-25, 25-15, 25-12, 25-22 to improve to 8-4 on the season.

North Platte went 1-1 in the triangular, topping Eastern Wyoming College in four sets 25-15, 25-22, 20-25, and 25-20 to open the triangular.

In the first match against North Platte, Masaki recorded a double-double in the four-set win. The sophomore form Hawaii finished with 12 kills and 10 digs. Masaki also had six points and a solo block.

Leslie Mamai-Lagafuaina tallied nine kills in the win against the Knights while Amryi-Grace Paris had seven kills.

Also for the Cougars, Jayme Commins had 36 set assists, seven points, and five digs; Gabi Canavati had five kills; Cami Esselin had 10 points and three digs; Kaile Tuisamatatele had five kills, five points, four digs, and two solo  blocks; Logan Belford had four kills; Santana Monroe had a solo block; Ana Costas had 19 digs and five points; Adia Sherbeyn had tw0 points; and Terri Takita-Robins had two digs and two points.

The Eastern Wyoming match was a battle. EWC squeaked out the first set win 25-23 before WNCC came back and took the second set 25-22 as WNCC used strong serving by Esselin, Sherbeyn, and Costas for the 25-15.

WNCC used strong serving in the third set to roll to the 25-12 win behind Masaki serving the final seven points. The fourth set saw WNCC bolt to a 1-15 lead and led 24-17 before winning 25-22.

Masaki had a triple-double in the win with 17 kills, 10 digs, and 23 points. Masaki also had three aces.

Canavati and Mamai-Lagafuaina each had eight kills while Tuisamatatele had seven kills. Paris had five kills while Belford had two. Mamai-Lagafuaina had four solo blocks.

Also for the Cougars, Commins had 35 set assists, four points, four digs, and two aces; Sherbeyn had nine digs, 14 points, and three aces; Esselin had four digs and eight points; Tuisamatatele had four points and a solo block; Costas finished with 12 digs and six points; and Aloni Jordan a solo block.

WNCC, 8-4, will next be in action this weekend when they head to a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, Friday and Saturday. The Cougars will battle Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Utah State-Eastern on Friday before taking on Arizona Western and Salt Lake Community College on Saturday.




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