The 19th-ranked Otero Junior College volleyball team saw its 12-match winning streak come to an end as it was defeated by 20th-ranked Northeastern Junior College in four sets Saturday at the McDivitt Center.

“NJC came out with a lot of fire and they did a really good job at finding our weaknesses,” said OJC coach Jordan Willis.

The Lady Rattlers opened the first set by scoring the first three points. The Plainswomen closed to within 3-2, but OJC scored four straight points to increase its lead to 7-2.

Northeastern rallied to reduce the lead to 9-8. But Otero gradually built the lead to 20-14.

The Plainswomen came back to cut the deficit to 20-16, however, the Lady Rattlers scored the final five points to take the first set 25-16.

Otero had a 3-2 lead to open the second set, but Northeastern scored three straight to take a 5-3 lead. The Lady Rattlers came back to tie the score at 6-6, however, the Plainswomen scored three in a row for a 9-6 edge.

OJC closed to within 9-8, but NJC scored five in a row to build a 14-8 advantage. The Lady Rattlers rallied to tie the score at 14-14, but the Plainswomen had another five-point run for a 19-14 edge.

Otero reduced the deficit to 22-19, but Northeastern scored the final three points for a 25-19 win.

The Lady Rattlers took a 3-1 lead to start the third set. Their lead stood at 5-4 when the Plainswomen scored three straight for a 6-5 edge.

OJC scored two consecutive points to regain the lead at 7-6, however, NJC scored seven straight points for a 13-7 advantage.

The Plainswomen gradually increased the lead to 20-9, however, the Lady Rattlers went on a 6-1 run to narrow the gap to 21-15. Northeastern scored four consecutive points to take a 24-15 advantage.

OJC attempted another rally as it scored four unanswered points to close to within 24-19. But Northeastern scored the final point for a 25-19 victory.

The Lady Rattlers scored the first point of the fourth set, but the Plainswomen scored five straight. Otero reduced the deficit to 5-4, but Northeastern went on a 3-0 run to extend the lead to 8-4.

OJC reduced the lead to 8-6, but NJC went on a 7-1 rally for a 15-7 advantage. The Lady Rattlers scored two in a row, but so did the Plainswomen.

After a brief OJC side out, Northeastern scored three consecutive points for a 20-10 lead. The Lady Rattlers closed to within 22-13, but the Plainswomen scored the final three points to take a 25-13 win.

Ema Causevic led the Otero offense with 19 kills, followed by Anouk VanNoord with six and Marissa Schelling with five.

Brilane Manchego led in assists with 26.

Manchego, Ashley Alfonso and Alexis Garcia each had one service ace.

Northeastern dealt 13 aces.

Otero (18-2, 2-1 NJCAA Region IX South) will play home regional games against Trinidad State on Tuesday and Lamar on Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to next week,” Willis said. “It’s always a new day and Trinidad and Lamar are looking to upset us in our gym as well. We just have to come back ready to fight and fire.”

OJC defeated McCook on Friday

Otero’s final match in the 12-match winning streak was a five-set win over McCook (Neb.) Community College Friday at the McDivitt Center.

The Lady Indians won the first set 25-20, but the Lady Rattlers won the next two by scores of 28-26 and 25-13. McCook won the fourth set 25-21, but OJC won the fifth 15-11.