The CWC Lady Rustlers celebrated after a fifth set win, punching their ticket to the Quarterfinals of the NJCAA D1 Volleyball Nationals Tournament

CWC Lady Rustlers win first match at NJCAA D1 Nationals

By: Shawn O’Brate

The Central Wyoming College (CWC) Lady Rustlers volleyball team, which reached as high of a ranking as #5 in the country, completed their first match of the Nationals Tournament in West Plains, Missouri on Thursday afternoon as they took on Utah State University Eastern (USUE), the #8 seed in the tournament. 

The first set of the match started close with each team trading scores until late in the game when the Lady Rustlers rattled off four straight points, going up 18-17, before USUE went on a run of their own when they scored five in a row and kept the lead until they finished the set on top (25-22). 

Afterwards, the second set was all USUE early as they went up 8-4 before letting CWC get back in the game and take the lead 10-8 which they would not yield for the rest of the set, eventually winning 25-15. 

Then, in the third set, the game would come down to the wire as they entered the final serves tied 21-21. USUE took advantage of some errors and the tired nature of the Lady Rustlers as they finished the set on a 4-1 run, winning 25-22 once again. 

But, the fourth and fifth sets, would end with the Lady Rustlers on top (25-13, 15-13) which means they now get to play the #1 seed in the tournament, Florida SouthWestern, tonight at 7:30 P.M.

“We put our hearts out and stayed calm and confident,” Coach Darshaya Gallard said. “Marin Freeland was amazing today … Haruka Sugimoto was so amazing and she dug every ball … We are so happy and excited about what’s next! Beating this team means we beat eight teams and now we are fighting for 1st-through-8th in the nation. I am so proud of this team and for the support in the community!”

Congrats to the Lady Rustlers on an outstanding win today and again on another outstanding season! Good luck tonight from everyone at WyoToday Media!