The Westminster Wolves extended their five-game winning street, defending their home court against Thornton Oct. 23. “We train to be successful, especially on a night like this,” Westminster …
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The Westminster Wolves extended their five-game winning street, defending their home court against Thornton Oct. 23.
“We train to be successful, especially on a night like this,” Westminster coach Marcel Bandera said. “The kids are performing well and improving every game. I’m so proud of them.”
Westminster continued to hit their stride during On Senior Night Oct. 23 as the regular season dwindles. Thornton’s Trojan’s found themselves playing catch up all night in the three-0 defeat at the hands of the Wolves (12-7, 6-2 in conference).
Set No. 1 for Westy began with the game’s first point, but Thornton (7-15, 4-6 in conference) struck back quickly, earning three of the next four points to gain the 3-2 edge.
Unfortunately for the road team, Westy outscored them 18-8 the following 26 points to put the game in Westminster control, 20-11. Senior Fernanda DeAlba and junior Anisa Jaramillo’s presence around the net dominated early on with help from sophomore Emily Leyva’s setting ability to clinch the first set, 25-17.
Seniors Alyssa Namvong and MeMe Chhay entered in Game 2 and was their presence ever felt. Despite falling behind 5-0, Westy dug out of the hole and finally tied things at eight, hugely in part to the two seniors’ impact.
“It’s a mental game, that’s what I tell them,” Bandera said. “You have to be prepared because some of the time you are going to be down on the scoreboard. We fight for every single point.”
After the tie, complete domination from a 17-10 run put Westy over the top. Capped off by back-to-back spikes by Chhay to complete the second set, the pack of wolves could smell blood.
Game 3 was the closest affair of the night with Thornton tying the set six times, but Westy not once gave their opponent the lead. Tied at 10, the Lady Trojans faltered as Westy went on a 14-6 push. However, Thornton fought one last time with four straight points to put the contest at 24-20, but it was too little too late.
Throughout the evening, Chhay and Namvong led the team with 14 and eight kills respectively. Leyva’s impressive night of seven kills (exclusively drop shots) and team-leading 22 assists proved impactful in the middle of the Westy attack. Junior Naomi Butler recorded 18 of the teams’ 55 digs as senior Mitzy Gonzalez and Leyva followed with seven apiece.
In his first year as varsity coach, Banderas has been around the program and the seniors since his junior varsity coaching days before the promotion. To say he is proud of this group is an understatement.
“I have seen these kids grow and one of the main reasons I stay here is because I love them. Sometimes I feel the responsibility to stay here until they graduate and they play hard for me, so I think `why not.’ They mean a lot to me.”
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