NCCC Panther volleyball was able to fend off Cowley College Thursday night in Panther Gymnasium.
The team won 3-1 (25-20 Cowley, 25-14, 25-21, and 25-15) over No. 15 Cowley – the second-straight game in which NCCC has beaten a ranked opponent after taking care of No. 11 Fort Scott on Monday. The win for Neosho puts the team up to 3-1 on the early season.
Freshman middle blocker McKinley Pruitt had nine kills, five digs, two assists, and one ace; freshman outside hitter Jolene Tidwell also put up nine kills, one dig, one ace, and one assist; freshman middle Hannah Brisco notched eight kills, two digs, and one ace; freshman outside hitter Riley Kallevig registered six kills and six digs; freshman setter Rylee Moseman tallied three kills and six digs; and freshman middle Samantha Johnson had a kill.
In the first set, Cowley (2-3) went on a 7-0 run that propelled them to a 22-15 lead moments before the final set score of 25-20 in favor of the Tigers.
NCCC head coach Marisa Compton said her team was much different in the first set in comparison to the last three winning sets.
“Our hitters did a better job ... and our hitters did a nice job after the first set of adjusting and finding open spots and being aggressive – we came back being aggressive,” Compton said. “We (were taking) care of things on our side and (making) sure we’re controlling the things we can on our side. Games like this take every single one of our players doing the job and everybody stepped up when they needed to. I thought Jo (Tidwell) did a good job in the second, third and fourth set when she was in the front row. Hannah Brisco came on strong there in the fourth set. McKinley, our middle, she went on a big run serving. Like I said, it took every one of them doing the job to get the win tonight.”
Up 24-14 after a 14-7 run earlier in the second set, doing an exceptional job was Moseman, who set up Pruitt for the spike and the 25-15 win.
The third set was a little closer, though NCCC created a little separation thanks to a 19-12 lead. Cowley’s freshman opposite hitter Maddy Pitts hammered the ball to put the score at 24-21 NCCC. But then Tidwell was set up before spiking the ball for a 25-21 third-set victory.
“Today I think what we really did well was playing really good as a team and communicating well with each other,” Tidwell said.
“Our serve-receive was really on today, which allowed us to have a really aggressive offense on the front row, so that really helped us pull through and win this game today. Today I had a really aggressive day and I was able to place the ball in multiple positions that allowed us to score and get a lot of points. I’m just thankful I get an opportunity to play with this team and at this school every day.”
In the final set, Kallevig shut the door with a kill shot, securing NCCC’s third win in four games.
NCCC (3-1) will try to jockey for a nationally-ranked position when the team takes on No. 18 Kansas City Kansas (3-1) on the road today at noon.
On KCK’s coaching staff is none other than former NCCC head coach Asya Herron.