Western Nebraska Community College soccer and volleyball teams will be at home for five straight days In key conference contests beginning Wednesday.
The men's and women's soccer teams start the landslide of home contests when they host Northeastern Junior College Wednesday afternoon at the Landers Soccer Complex in Region IX South action.
The women open the doubleheader at 1 p.m. followed by the men at 3 p.m.
The men's contest will have NJCAA 12th-ranked NJC battling the Cougars in the men's teams final home contest of the season. The sophomore men will be recognized before the game in their final home game. NJC comes in with a 6-0 conference record and 12-3-1 overall. WNCC is 4-2 in conference action and 7-5 overall.
The women's contest features two teams with similar overall records. WNCC, however, are 2-3 in conference while NJC is 1-4. It will be the final conference games for both squads. The Cougars women are 3-7-1 on the season while the Plainswomen are 3-9.
The last time the two women's teams played, WNCC won 3-2 behind two goals from Thais Nayara. The Cougar men fell 6-0 to NJC in their meeting with the Plainsmen in September.
Both teams will then have more games this week. The Cougar women will travel to face York junior varsity on Thursday before coming home to face Northwest College on Sunday at Landers Soccer Complex. The Sunday women's contest will begin at 11 a.m. and it will be the sophomores final regular season home contest with recognition ceremonies before the game.
The Cougar men will wrap up the regular season on Friday when they travel to Columbus to face Central Community College in a Region IX South contest.
First round of the Region IX soccer playoffs will be held next weekend. Pairings will be released either Monday or Tuesday.
While the soccer teams will be playing their final regular season contests, the Cougar volleyball team have three big Region IX South Conference contests at home this weekend. The big weekend all starts on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Cougar Palace when No. 19 Otero Junior College comes to the Palace for PAWzitively Pink Night for breast cancer awareness. WNCC enters the contest at 18-7, coming off a five-set win over Northeastern Junior College on Friday. Otero is 21-2 on the season after sweeping Garden City Community College on Monday.
There will be several special events taking place on Thursday to recognize breast cancer survivors and non-survivors.
Amy Winters, who has undergone breast cancer herself, has spearheaded the PAWzitively Pink for a number years. Winters wants to see everyone wear pink that day. Also, individuals get $1 off admission price if they wear pink while breast cancer survivors get in free. There will also be T-shirt sales with all proceeds going to the Festival of Hope. Individuals may also get their hair spray painted pink.
The last time the two teams played on Sept. 27 in La Junta, Colorado, the Rattlers earned 3-set win over the Cougars 25-17, 25-14, 25-18.
After Thursday night, the volleyball team will then host Lamar Community College on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by Trinidad State Junior College at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The first encounter between WNCC and Lamar saw the Cougars top the Lopes 3-1, while WNCC swept Trinidad State 3-0.
The three, home volleyball conference matches this week are crucial in South standings. Otero and WNCC are tied at 4-1 in the conference while Lamar and Northeastern Junior College are 3-2. Trinidad State is 1-4 followed by McCook at 0-5.
The only other Cougar team with competition this weekend is the men's basketball team as they will head to the Power2Play Jamboree in Windsor, Colorado, to face New Mexico Junior College, New Mexico Military, and Sunrise.
The Cougar men are coming off of a weekend at a jamboree in Dallas last weekend, where they went 2-2, beating Angeline College and South Plains College, while falling to Ranger and Barton. WNCC head coach Cory Fehringer was pleased with what he saw in Dallas.
"I was pleased with how we competed and grew together game by game," he said. "It is too early to tell what any of it means and we have a long ways to go as a team."
This Week in Cougar Athletics
Wednesday, Oct. 10
l -- Softball: Community Service at 7:25 a.m. at Lincoln Elementary in Gering
- Softball players will be walking with students for International Walk to School Day
l -- Women's Soccer: HOME vs. Northeastern Junior College, Landers Complex, 1 p.m.
l – Men's Soccer: HOME vs. Northeastern Junior College, Landers Complex, 3 p.m.
- Sophomore Recognition for men's players
Thursday, Oct. 11
l -- Women's Soccer: AWAY at York J.V., York, Nebraska, 3 p.m.
l -- Volleyball: HOME vs. No. 19 Otero Junior College, Cougar Palace, 6 p.m.
- PAWzitively Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Night
Friday, Oct. 12
l -- Men's Soccer: AWAY at Central CC-Columbus, Columbus, Nebraska, 3 p.m.
l -- Volleyball: HOME vs Lamar Community College, Cougar Palace, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13
l -- Volleyball: HOME vs. Trinidad State Junior College, Cougar Palace, 1 p.m.
l -- Men's Basketball: AWAY at Power2Play Jamboree, Windsor, Colorado. Time TBA
- Cougar men will play New Mexico JC, New Mexico Military, and Sunrise Christian
Sunday, Oct. 14
l -- Women's Soccer: HOME vs. Northwest College, Landers Soccer Complex, 11 a.m.
- Sophomore Recognition for women's players