T-Birds fall shy in upset bid of No. 19 Colby

Freshman setter Kamryn Stark (No. 12) had 33 assists on Monday in Cloud County's 3-1 road loss to Colby
Freshman setter Kamryn Stark (No. 12) had 33 assists on Monday in Cloud County's 3-1 road loss to Colby

COLBY, Kansas — For the second time in as many meetings this season, the Cloud County Community College volleyball team pushed Colby Community College to the brink. The T-Birds took a set off No. 19 Colby back on Sept. 20 and fell just shy of pushing the nationally ranked Lady Trojans to five sets on Monday in a tough 25-23, 25-15, 20-25 and 26-24 road loss.

Despite the loss, Monday's performance against Colby (19-5 overall, 9-3 KJCCC) was another positive step in the right direction for the T-Birds (4-19 overall, 1-10 KJCCC).

Sophomore hitter Irem Bat was brilliant on both sides of the ball as she finished with a team-high 11 kills and added a season-high 11 digs.

Bat had six of her 11 kills in Set Four, which saw the T-Birds hold a lead as late as 18-17. A 4-0 Colby run forced a Cloud County timeout down 21-18. But Cloud wouldn't go away as it rallied to tie the score against at 23-23 and 24-24 before the Trojans were able to slip by for the 26-24 win to conclude the match.

Cloud County as a team finished with 63 digs on the night — its fourth highest dig total of the season — led by freshman libero Britt Michaelis with 25.

Offensively, Cloud County had a balanced attack as four different players finish with eight or more kills, led by Bat's 11.

Redshirt sophomore Drew Mann powered down eight kills, while freshman Giovanna Fundaro and sophomore Elizabeth Nobert each added nine kills apiece.

Freshman setter Kamryn Stark finished with 33 assists on the evening; the third highest assist total of her young career.

Cloud County will look to build off Monday's performance when it heads back out on the road Wednesday for a matchup against another nationally ranked foe, No. 5 Seward County Community College. Action is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 pm. in Liberal.