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OJC Press Release ID: 2707

Thursday, November 2, 2017

OJC Volleyball to open Region IX South Tournament against Trinidad State


The Otero Junior College Volleyball will open the Region IX South Tournament competition on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. against Trinidad State Junior College. The tournament is being played in the Cougar Palace on the campus of Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Neb.

The Rattlers are entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Teams receiving byes for the first round of competition include No. 1 seed Northeastern Junior Colleges and No. 2 seed Western Nebraska Community College. A win on Thursday by OJC would have the Rattlers meeting Western Nebraska at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

Jordan Willis, second-year head coach of the Rattlers, is pleased with his team’s No. 3 seed. “This is a good spot for us to be in as we begin the tournament. I’m looking forward to the week because I know there will be some great volleyball played,” said Willis. “Western Nebraska’s campus is a good atmosphere for volleyball as they have dedicated fans who bring a lot of energy to the gym. That energy is felt by all the teams in competition.”

Willis noted that the Rattlers’ first piece of business is to get a win against Trinidad State on Thursday evening. “The level of play in the south region has improved greatly over the past couple of years, so we are not looking past anyone. This will be anyone’s tournament to win, that is how competitive all of these teams are. Knowing how well our team is playing right now, I’m counting on this to be OJC’s turn to take home the championship and advance to nationals.”

According to Willis, the Rattlers started their season out strong until they experienced three key injuries in Sept. that gave the team a slight setback. “We worked hard at getting everyone healthy and I think we are once again at full-strength. We have been playing some really good volleyball over the last couple of weeks and I think the upward trend we’ve been on will peak for us at the tournament.”

The Rattlers’ practice sessions this week were strong, with Willis, and Assistant Coach Morgan Wilkening, feeling like the team’s focus is where it needs to be. “We’ve had good energy and good attitudes this week. When we play together, with each other, for each other, we play excellent volleyball,” said Willis.

Willis give a lot of the credit to this year’s success to his returning sophomore class. “These players came back to the team this year with maturity and leadership that helped to put OJC Volleyball on the map.”

The Rattlers are entering the Region IX South Tournament with a 15-13 overall record and a 6-4 conference record.


Press Release Photo
The OJC Rattler Volleyball Team will be competing in the first round of the Region IX South Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. in Scottsbluff, Neb.