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SCOTTSBLUFF – Less than 24 hours after a disappointing loss to Western Nebraska in Cougar Palace, the McCook Community College Lady Indian volleyball team came out with a pair of wins on the first day of the Wyo-Braska shootout. MCC downed Dawson Community College in the opener straight sets then dispatched Eastern Wyoming in four sets.

 

The wins lifted MCC to 11-5 on the year. Dawson drops to 4-12, Eastern Wyoming drops to 2-15.

 

The tournament continues Saturday as MCC plays Region IX north leaders, 10-6 Laramie County Community College in a noon (MT) game and go back-to-back with a 2 p.m. (MT) game with 7-9 Caspar College.

 

MCC’s next home game is Tuesday against Southeast Community College at 7 p.m. in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. MCC is inviting Red Willow County employees and their families to be special guests. All Red Willow County employees and their families will be allowed free admission to the game.





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TRINIDAD, Colo. – The McCook Community College women’s basketball team completed a weekend conference road sweep downing Trinidad State Junior College Saturday, 92-83.
“This is a big weekend for us, and it has been a long time since MCC has made this trip and won both games,” MCC Coach Kellen Fernetti said (MCC beat Otero Junior College Friday, 85-73).
MCC jumped out to a 30-18 first quarter lead and 53-37 at the half. The Trojans closed the gap to 10 points midway through the fourth quarter then scored eight straight points to close to 83-81 with less than three minutes left, but the Indians were able to ice the game at the line making nine of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Hailey Tiles (Rogers, Ark.) led MCC with 25 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Sam Hinkle, (Rifle Colo.) scored 22 points and had six rebounds.
Freshmen Lena Goerke (Hamburg, Germany) scored 19 points and snagged 11 rebounds. Freshman Makenna Bodette (Colorado Springs) added 11 points and six rebounds. In a starting role, sophomore Anna Sanjuan, (Reus, Spain) scored six points, had five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“Our offense this weekend was crisp with good flow,” Fernetti said.
The Lady Indians shot 42.9 percent from the field and made 14 of 33 shots from the 3-point line (42.4 percent. Hinkle had five, Tiles four, and Goerke three.
Both teams were credited with 46 rebounds.
Trinidad State shot 39.3 percent from the field, 26.9 percent on 26 shots from beyond the arc.
“Defensively, as always, I think there are things that we can improve on, but our team does compete and play together,” Fernetti said. “I am a very proud coach again.”
The Trojans fall to 9-8.
MCC improves to 13-5 on the season and 2-0 in Region IX South Division play. The road-swing continues Tuesday at Scottsbluff against Western Nebraska (15-3 before Saturday’s scheduled game with 2-17 Lamar CC) and on Friday at Sterling, Colo., against Northeastern Junior College (11-5) before returning home Jan. 28 to host North Platte (2-13 before the weekend).




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La JUNTA, Colo. – The McCook Community College Lady Indians opened up Region IX play Friday with an 85-73 road win over Otero Junior College.

“Tonight was another test for us and a gut check moment as Otero came out on their home floor and really started hot, scoring 22 points in the first quarter but my team responded so well,” MCC Coach Kellen Fernetti said.

The Lady Indians were able to get things going in the second and third period before getting up by 20 points in the fourth quarter and finishing off the Rattlers for the win.

“We outscored Otero 54-26 in the middle two quarters and that was huge.” Fernetti said. “I’m very proud of the team and now we have another tough one tomorrow at Trinidad State.”

Sophomore Sam Hinkle, (Rifle Colo.) led MCC with 27 points.

Freshman Lena Goerke (Hamburg, Germany) scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Sophomore Anna Sanjuan, (Reus, Spain) scored 13 points and sophomore Hailey Tiles (Rogers, Ark.) chipped in 12.

Fernetti said freshman Makenna Bodette (Colorado Springs) had a big night on the boards although she was only credited with eight rebounds.

The Lady Indians also got things going from the 3-point line making 11 shots from distance.

“This is a tough trip and OJC is a tough place to play and getting a win here is big for us,” Fernetti said.

Otero falls to 9-7 on the season.

The Lady Indians, improve to 12-5 and continue with the second of a four-game road swing through Region IX taking on Trinidad State Saturday. The road-swing continues Tuesday at Scottsbluff against Western Nebraska and on Friday at Sterling, Colo., against Northeastern Junior College before returning home Jan. 28 to host North Platte.





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McCook Community College sophomore Cameron Lampe signed a letter of intent Wednesday to continue his golf career at Bellevue University

Bellevue Golf Coach Ron Brown said he receives about five queries per week from prospective golfers but said in Lampe’s case it was the coach who began noticing the golfers’ scores so then started looking into his academic and character background.

“I couldn’t find any negatives -- he checked all the positive boxes from his performance on the golf course, to his academics, his work-ethic, his behavior, everything,” Brown said.

The coach expects Lampe to be part of the five-man Bruin squad in the fall.

Lampe, who attended Fossil Ridge High School in Windsor, Colo., was a member of the Indian team last April that won the school’s first Region IX golf title since 1973 and a trip to the JUCO national championships in Lubbock, Texas.

Lampe was named first-team all-conference and was also named to the District 1, all-division team.

This year, Lampe is in second place in the individual Region IX standings trailing Eastern Wyoming's Gonzalo Arcelay 45-39 and has a scoring average of 73.2 through the six matches in the fall as the season resumes March 21 with six more matches.

“When I recruited Cam to come to MCC I had the same conclusions that Coach Brown did,” MCC Coach Tyler Loop said. “Cam met all the requirements from his golf game, to his academics, his motivation not only for himself but for the team.”

“He’s worked hard to be part of a quality program like Bellevue and a quality coach like Coach Brown.”

In May, Lampe was named academic golfer of the year by the MCC Indians Boosters, Inc.





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McCook Community College Men’s Basketball Coach Brandon Lenhart has accepted a new coaching job at Minot State University in Minot, N.D.

“Coach Lenhart has been a tremendous asset to our program, the college, and the community,” said MCC Vice President Kelly Rippen. “Every year he challenged himself in new ways to better serve our students and his athletes. He is a phenomenal coach with so much to offer and I am proud to see him offer those skills to a new program.”

Athletic Director Jon Olsen who returned to MCC to coach baseball the same year as Lenhart -- 2007 -- said it’s bittersweet news for the college.

“This is a tough one, I wish him all the luck,” Olsen said. “I’m seen him grow as a coach over the years, and take on new responsibilities. I think this is a great opportunity for him, but it’s tough to see him go.”

“McCook and MCC will always hold a special place in our family’s hearts, so many firsts took place here both professionally and as a family,” Lenhart said. “We are excited for our new opportunity at Minot State University, and look forward to having the same reception we received in McCook 12 years ago.

Lenhart came to MCC in 2007 and since that time his teams compiled a 192-181 record. Also during that time there were nine players who earned academic All-American honors, 11 garnered all Region IX honors, and 29 players were named to all-Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference teams.

“I have been coaching college basketball for 18 years now, and this position at Minot State University will be the first position where I am able to concentrate on solely on basketball,” Lenhart said. “This has been a goal and dream of mine for the past three years. God opened the door for this great opportunity for us and we are excited to work with the people of Minot, N.D.”

In addition to his responsibilities with the men’s basketball program, Lenhart was a Career Counselor with Mid-Plains Community College Career Services and served as Assistant Athletic Director for the past five years.

“Words alone can not express how appreciative I am of him for the amount of work he has put in on the basketball court, for career services side and all the tasks on the athletic side,” Olsen said.

“He has always had very high expectations for his players, his staff, and himself,” Rippen said. “The impact Brandon has made on the MCC tribe and the community of McCook is unmatched and commendable. He will be dearly missed.”

“Although I hate to see him go, I wish him and his family the very best in their next adventure and hope he knows he will always be part of our MCC family no matter where he is,” Rippen said.

“My family would like to thank the community of McCook and surrounding area for welcoming us with open arms since the time we all stepped foot in McCook in July of 2007. I also want to thank all of the wonderful people at Mid-Plains CC I have had the pleasure of working with for the past 12 years, especially the staff in career services, the athletic department, and all of the special people at MCC,” Lenhart said. “We will always be family.”





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Two McCook Community College softball players have signed on to continue their careers together at NCAA Division II Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.

Sophomores Emily Charchuk and Chanel Siebenthal and made it official at a signing ceremony recently at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.

The two made a visit to South Dakota back in January and both said they visited with the coach, players, toured campus, the community and spent a full day of working out with the team.

Charchuk, a middle-infielder from Victoria, British Columbia, was sidelined with health issues for a few games early in the season, but has responded, hitting .359 with 29 runs scored, 21 RBIs, 11 doubles, two home runs and five steals. She’s really heated up in April batting .478 this month and slugging .870. Last season, she batted .439 with 25 doubles (setting the MCC single-season record and the fifth most doubles in the nation), four triples, five homeruns and scored 66 runs, which was also an MCC record.

She is a marketing major.

Siebenthal (Lakewood, Colo.) has played in all 36 games for MCC and is batting .426 with 41 runs scored, 24 RBIs, 13 doubles, a home run and 18 steals (fifth most in Region IX). Last season the outfielder batted .405 with 16 doubles, six triples, five homeruns, 57 runs scored, 43 RBI’s, and 17 stolen bases.

She is studying pharmacy.

“I am super excited for these ladies it is a great program and earning a chance to move on is well-deserved,” said MCC Coach Josh Barnes.

“We are going to miss them on and off the field – they are going to be tough to replace,” Barnes said. “We are looking forward to watching them at the next level where we are expecting great things.”

At the recent signing ceremony the two teammates spoke about how MCC has felt like a family a soon as they arrived on campus -- from the coaches, athletic staff, teachers and particularly with the connections they have made in the community.





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McCook Community College’s Ryan Maddera, has signed a national letter of intent to continue her volleyball next year at Division I Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.

The sophomore from Greeley West High School in Colorado first came to MCC in December of 2016 for open tryouts.

“I had a few JUCOS looking at me in high school and actually I didn’t know I was coming to MCC for a tryout, I just thought it was a camp,” Maddera recalls. As soon as she set foot in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center, she was sold. “Of all the places I’d visited, MCC has by far the nicest gym.”

“Her journey from a tryout camp all the way to a Division I scholarship is a testament to what hard work in the off-season can help you accomplish,” MCC Coach Hayley Kobza said.

“I hope girls will look at what she did to her body and mindset in the offseason as an example of how far you can come with two years of dedication,” Kobza said.

Maddera said during her visit to SE Louisiana, she liked everything about the campus, the city, the culture – even seeing her first alligator -- but mostly that she connected with the coach and teammates and felt like this was the best chance for her to be successful at the next level.

Under new Lady Lion Coach Jeremy White, Maddera is expecting to move to a right-side setter position.

“I’ve never played setter in my life, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she said.

“She proved to us she can change positions starting out as an outside hitter for us and them moving to the middle,” Kobza said. “She loves the sport and will do whatever she can do for the team.”

Maddera played in 35 matches this past season for the Lady Indians and recorded 398 kills, 228 digs, 16 solo blocks, 73 total blocks and 42 service aces.

She ranked fourth among hitters in the Region IX South division in total kills, her 3.18 kills per set ranked seventh, and total blocks ranked 14th.

Maddera was part of a seven-sophomore class which posted back-to-back 20-win seasons – the first 20 win seasons in recent memory and the school’s first Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference championship since 1980.

But for Ryan, her time at MCC was more than just pumping up the win total.

“Yes we were pretty good, but I think more importantly, we worked so well together on and off the court,” she said. “I am really proud of what we accomplished.”





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McCook Community College sophomore Makayla Jones has signed a national letter of intent to continue her basketball career next season at West Virginia Tech in Beckley, West Virginia. WVT is a division of West Virginia University. “West Virginia Tech is getting a competitor in every sense of the word. Makayla just brings it every day and it has shown in how far she has come since she got to McCook,” said MCC Women’s Basketball Coach Brandon Pritchett. Makayla Jones, a 5-5 guard from Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., played in 32 games averaging 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. She scored 205 points, had 165 rebounds, 59 assists and 37 steals. From the floor she shot 46.0 percent on 189 shots. She was one of only five players in Region IX named to the all-defensive team. Despite being 5-5, she was second in the Region IX with 94 offensive rebounds. She ranked 11th in the region in total rebounds. “I am really excited for Makayla,” Pritchett said. “She loves the game so much.” Her new team, the Golden Bears, went 24-10 this past season and played in the NAIA Division II women’s basketball national tournament, losing to Indiana Tech in the first round 73-63. WVT went 16-1 in the River States Conference East Division winning both the regular season and post-season conference championships. “She is going to a very successful program where she'll be able to compete for championships, we're excited to watch her at that next stage,” Pritchett said.





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McCook Community College sophomore Ricardo Jimenez has signed on to play baseball at Division I Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The Lancers play in the Big South Conference.

“Ricky was only here a semester but made a good impact for us,” said MCC baseball coach Jon Olsen. “He did a really nice job for us at shortstop, he is a very good defender that can really hit.”

Jimenez from, Hialeah Fla., transferred to MCC from Central Florida Community College. This year for the Indians, he played in 48 games, batting .319 with six home runs and 24 RBIs. He was third in Region IX with 17 doubles, eighth in total bases with 88 and eighth in slugging percent, .550. He had 15 multi-hit games including a five-for-five game April 20 against Otero Junior College. With the team pushing toward a berth in the Region IX tournament, Jiminez hit .375 over the final 15 games and slugged .750 including three home runs in the final series against Northeastern Junior College. Those numbers helped land him on the all-Region IX first team. “I am really happy for Ricky, he had a goal when he came here to go Division I and he was able to make that happen so we are excited for him,” Olsen said.

 





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OTTAWA, Kan. -- McCook Community College sophomore Onyessah Rocha signed a letter of intent Monday to continue her volleyball career next year at Ottawa University in Kansas.

The defensive specialist from Topeka said when the MCC volleyball season ended, she weighed her options for next year and thought she might be done with the sport, but an email from Ottawa coach Melissa Blessington renewed her hopes. Just prior to Thanksgiving, the coach invited her to campus for a visit during the Thanksgiving break. While there, she was offered a scholarship.

Rocha said since Ottawa is about an hour from her home in Topeka, she had several friends, classmates and student athletes who went on to Ottawa, but until her visit over Thanksgiving, she had never been on campus and didn’t know that much about the volleyball program.

The Braves team went 27-13 this Fall, including a run in the NAIA National Championship which included a loss to 13-ranked Hastings College in the opening round of the tournament. Ottawa won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship which earned the program its sixth trip (fourth straight appearance), at the NAIA National Tournament, and a second place finish in the KCAC with a record of 11-1.

“My goal is to compete for the starting libero position next year,” Rocha said.

“’Yessah’ is a player who makes serve receive passing look easy and that is a skill other players have to work daily on,” McCook Community College Coach Hayley Kobza said.

Her favorite memory of her time on the MCC volleyball court was winning the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference championship. “Not only winning but going undefeated in conference was one of the highlights of a pretty good season.”

Rocha was part of a seven-sophomore group that help MCC post back-to-back 20-win seasons – the first 20 win seasons in recent memory, the school’s first NCCAC championship since 1980, and wins over a couple ranked opponents including Central Community College and Otero Junior College.

“Onyessah will do great things at the next level and I’m excited to see what she gets done at Ottawa next season,” Kobza said.

Academically, Onyessah is a science major at MCC and looks to continue her course of study in science with the goal of becoming a sonogram technician.





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