CONCORDIA, Kan. – Playing in front of their home crowd and as a nationally-ranked team for the first time this season, the number-14 ranked Cloud County Community College volleyball team broke away after splitting the first two sets to win in four sets over number-20 ranked Kansas City Kansas Community College inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Wednesday, September 4th.
With the victory, the T-Birds improve to 9-0 on the season and win their Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference opener to move to 1-0 in conference play. The Blue Devils are now 6-4 overall and 0-1 in the KJCCC following the defeat.
"We knew that we needed to get off to a good start in conference as we know every night out in this conference is difficult" said head coach Deb Monzon in a post-match interview. "We've been working hard in practice on tough serves and it really showed tonight with players such as Emelys Martinez." "We've been talking about our size and quickness and how we need to be a strong blocking team to dominate the net, so it was good to see us step up to the challenge tonight."
Owning the first set would be CCCC as an 11-0 run allowed the T-Birds to pull away and make the score 21-8 as sophomore Dayana Chara would provide nine kills in the set on 14 attack attempts. A closely contested second set saw things stay back-and-forth for the duration of the set with KCKCC pulling away late to take a 25-22 set victory to tie the match at 1-1 heading to the third set.
Cloud County would manage to reclaim the lead with a 25-19 set three victory as defense and mistakes from Kansas City Kansas played a big role with the T-Birds only needing to put down 12 kills in the set. After a slow start to the fourth set saw KCKCC take an early lead, it would be Cloud County who would feed off the energy of their home crowd to pull back into the match and put up three blocks in the final points of the match to hold on for a 25-22 set victory to seal the match three games to one.
With 17 kills in the match, Chara would add 11 digs, two solo blocks, and one service ace to fill the stat sheet while Martinez finished the match with 16 kills and five service aces. Geraldyn Palacios had a big night at the net, recording three solo stuffs along with one assisted block as the T-Birds would record a total of nine blocks in the match. Riley Bontrager provided a steady hand offensively, dishing out 44 assists while also recording nine digs on the defensive end of things.
Cloud County will close out their week on Friday, September 6th within the friendly confines of Arley Bryant Gymnasium with a 5 p.m. non-conference matchup against Barton Community College. The Cougars are 7-3 overall after splitting four matches last week in Arizona.