Lady Thunderbirds head to Regional Tournament

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Photo of Angel Sharman during a volleyball game on Oct. 28, 2023.

The Casper College Lady Thunderbirds take their conference record of 10-2 and their overall record of 24-11 on the road to compete in the NJCAA Region IX and Northwest Plains District Volleyball Tournament hosted this year by Region IX South No. 1 seed Northeastern Junior College Plainswomen in Sterling, Colorado.

For their first tournament appearance today at 5 p.m., the T-Birds will face off against the Lady Trojans of Trinidad State College in match three. The Trojans ended their regular season 5-5 in conference play and 16-17 overall. However, T-Bird Head Coach Angel Sharman cautioned fans not to think that an easy win was at hand: “Trinidad is a lot better than what the record is. So we will need to play our best volleyball this week no matter who we play,” she said. “We just have to continue to work together as a team, what we have been doing during the season. Hopefully, we can continue the energy and the grit,” she added.

The T-Birds, ranked No. 1 in Region IX North, are also ranked nationally for the first time at No. 17 this week by the NJCAA. The national ranking comes on the heels of the team’s final two games, which saw them win both. On Friday, Oct. 27, the Birds took on the Lady Lancers of Eastern Wyoming College, winning that game 23-25, 25-16, 25-16, and 25-20. Then, on Saturday night, the team played against the Golden Eagles of Laramie County Community College, winning 28-26, 25-20, and 25-22.

Six other teams will also be competing on Wednesday. The winner of Match 1 will play the winner of Match 3 in Match 7 on Thursday, Nov. 2. That means that should the Lady T-Birds win against the Trojans, they will be going against the winner of the matchup between the Western Wyoming Community College Mustangs, 21-12 for the season, and the McCook Community College Lady Indians, who ended the season 22-11. Match 7 will be played at 4 p.m.

The losers on the first day will play in a loser’s out bracket beginning on Thursday. The final matchup for the winner’s bracket will take place on Friday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. The winner of that game will be crowned the Region IX and Northwest Plains District A Champions. The loser’s bracket’s final matchup will occur on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. The winner of that game will be crowned the Region IX and Northwest Plains District B Champions.

The 2023 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship will occur November 15-18 at Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The games will be available to watch live here.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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