CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – For the first time in school history, the Neosho County Community College volleyball team advanced to the National tournament. But they didn’t get to play for long.
The Panthers went down 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-11) to No. 5 Kirkwood College in their first match Tuesday.
McKinley Pruitt racked up six kills; Hannah Brisco put up five kills, one assist and three digs; Riley Kallevig had five kills, one assist and two digs; Jolene Tidwell had five kills and two aces; Rylee Moseman notched 17 assists and five digs; Brooklyn Strobel managed three assists, six digs and one ace; Samantha Johnson had two kills and one assist; Kinley Poynter had two digs; and Nyah Alexander recorded four digs.
Kirkwood upped the score to 3-0 after Jada Golden-Smith recorded some big blocks.
But NCCC would continue to fight thanks to a Tidwell spike to make the score 11-9 Kirkwood. A couple of aces by Kirkwood’s Rachael Nelson made the score 14-9 Kirkwood, and the Eagles would get out to an 18-10 lead.
“I think everybody has stepped up in different times this season in games and different times,” NCCC head coach Marisa Compton previously said.
Brisco scored and put set one at 20-14, but the Eagles were just too much.
Kirkwood had some big blocks and kills that helped several runs for the nationally-ranked team, the No. 5 seed in Nationals.
Unfortunately for NCCC, set one was the closest they would get.
Since NCCC lost the first game, the No. 12 seed faced Pima Community College in a consolation match Wednesday, but lost in a close one 3-2 (25-19, 25-18 Pima, 25-18 Pima, 27-25, 16-14 Pima).
Moseman had 47 assists, seven digs, two kills and one ace; Kallevig racked up 14 kills, 15 digs and one ace; Tidwell put up 13 kills and three digs; Brisco had 10 kills, four digs and four aces; McKinley Pruitt managed seven kills, eight digs, one assist and one ace; Strobel had six assists, 19 digs and two aces; Johnson tallied eight kills and one dig; Poynter put up seven digs; and Alexander had 10 digs.