CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College volleyball team picked up a pair of wins Monday evening during the Cloud County Triangular, getting their week off to a great start with victories over Southeast Community College and Kansas Wesleyan University JV.
Monday's triangular allowed the T-Birds (15-14 overall, 1-6 KJCCC East) to experiment with different lineups, as well as work on a few things as they continue to hone-in on their newly implemented 6-2 offense.
"It was nice to be able to come in, play a few different girls that haven't seen much time, and pick up a couple of nice wins," said Cloud County head coach, Deb Monzon. "It helped their confidence and allowed us to work on some things like speeding up our offense and becoming less predictable."
Cloud County succeeded in doing so in its first match of the night as it quickly dispatched of Southeast Community College (3-24 overall) by set scores of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-12. It was the third victory over the Storm this season for the T-Birds.
Sophomore outside hitter Giovanna Fundaro led all T-Birds with 10 kills, while freshman middle blocker Jessica Williams and freshman outside hitter Dayana Chara finished with nine kills and seven kills, respectively.
Cloud County posted a .395 hitting percentage for the match and had 39 assists on its 43 kills, led by 24 from freshman setter Laken Schroeder.
Schroeder had a big evening as she added 22 assists and a career-high seven aces in the 3-1 win over Kansas Wesleyan University JV.
"Laken has developed that topspin serve and has really come alive with it the last week to 10 days," Monzon said.
The Concordia product also had eight digs in the win over Southeast, just behind sophomore libero Britt Michaelis with a team-high nine digs.
In the nightcap against the visiting Coyotes, the T-Birds bounced back from a disappointing 25-19 loss in Set One to rattle off wins of 25-12, 25-12 and 25-15 in succession.
Chara led all Cloud players with 11 kills, while freshman right side hitter Haven Hamilton joined her in double-figures with 10 kills.
Williams and fellow freshman middle hitter Shelby Ohlde each collected nine kills in the win, as well.
Defensively, Michaelis popped up a team-high 17 digs — her highest total since August 31 — and freshman defensive specialist Willow Hunt followed with 12 digs in what was an encouraging and exciting evening for Cloud County's defense.
"We had several plays where we went after balls that we'd have probably let go a month ago," Monzon said. "We are seeing more scrambling and effort to get to lose balls. We saw probably 7-8 times where we scrapped after a ball, ended up getting it over and winning the point. Plays like that bring energy and confidence to the floor."
The T-Birds will look to build off Monday's performances when they begin a crucial stretch run to end the season. Cloud County currently sits 10th in the KJCCC East standings but has three conference matches remaining, starting with a 6:30 p.m. home match on Wednesday against KJCCC foe, Neosho County Community College.
"We need to get that second conference win on Wednesday and probably need to win out (in conference) to have a chance to make it into the top-7 from our conference that make the district tournament," Monzon said.