The Casper College volleyball team will look to continue its recent strong play when it hosts second-ranked Western Nebraska Community College on Tuesday.

After a slow start to the season, the Thunderbirds (8-17) have won five of seven matches in Region IX North sub-region play. At 5-2 in conference, they are just one game back of both No. 14 Laramie County Community College and Northwest College.

Casper College, which lost 3-2 to Western Nebraska CC back on Sept. 5, has a number of players who have helped the T-Birds make a late-season push.

Freshman Anya Olsen leads the team in kills and is third in digs, freshmen Emma Rogers (4.08 assists per set) and Lucie Strasser (3.17 aps) have taken control of the setter position, freshman Giuliana Irvine leads the team in digs, sophomore Jessica Pilivi is second in both kills and digs, and sophomore Alayna Sheldon is the team's top shot blocker.

The T-Birds return to conference play Friday when they host Northwest College. Tuesday's match against Western Nebraska CC is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. at Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym.

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Jack Nowlin is sports editor of the Star-Tribune.

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