Nov. 15, 2018, Sterling, Colo. – In the opening round of the NJCAA National tournament, the Plainswomen volleyball team were matched up against the Navarro College Bulldogs. Northeastern came in ranked as the 13th seed and the Bulldogs were ranked as the 4th seed. Although ranked higher, the Plainswomen had a shot at upsetting Navarro as long as they played their game.
The game had a delayed start due to previous games, but once warmups began, Northeastern was locked in. In the first set, the ladies scrapped to keep themselves in the back-and-forth game, only trailing by three with the scoreboard reading 15-12. The Bulldogs called a timeout when Northeastern closed the gap to make it a 19-17 game. As Navarro closed in on set point, Northeastern hung on and would not let the Bulldogs out of reach. Navarro burned their last timeout at the 23-22 mark looking to cool Northeastern down. The strategy worked and the Bulldogs won set one 25-22.
The Plainswomen proved they were meant to be here at the national tournament with how they played that set. In the next two sets however, Northeastern seemed to be a different team. The Plainswomen were able to take the 5-3 lead, but Navarro made a comeback to tie it up later 10-10. A few points later, the Bulldogs took the 15-12 lead, and Northeastern took a timeout, hoping to slow their momentum. The timeout worked for a little while, but Navarro went on a run again to make it 21-15. The Plainswomen lost set two 25-18.
Set three was do or die if they wanted to make it easier on themselves for the rest of the tournament. But like set two, the Plainswomen seemed a little off. The ladies seemed that they were reacting to what the Bulldogs were doing rather than making the action and making Navarro adjust to them. Despite the Plainswomen reacting, the ladies made some awesome plays to keep them in the hunt. Northeastern was trailing by four as the scoreboard read 8-4 before taking their first timeout. Several long volleys did not go Northeastern's way, and Navarro extended their lead to 14-8. Coach Squier took her final timeout to try and keep the game within reach for the Plainswomen. The Bulldogs kept attacking and Northeastern tried to keep returning the digs, but were unsuccessful and lost 25-15.
That loss puts Northeastern in the bottom bracket which means they will have to battle to make it through the tournament. Their next game will be on Friday, Nov. 16 at noon CST. Their opponent will be Hill College out of Texas.