The North Platte Community College Lady Knights (9-1) volleyball team found out Wednesdaymorning they were ranked #11 in the NJCAA Division II poll and then took care of business on the court that night. The Lady Knights defeated the McCook Lady Indians in three sets (25-21, 25-12, 25-20).
The start of the first set was tightly contested as the Lady Knights and Lady Indians battled back and forth before the Lady Knights won 25-21. Libero Shannon Liewer served five straight points to give the Lady Knights a 15-7 lead and forced the Lady Indians to call a timeout.
In the second set the Lady Knights held on to the momentum as they raced out to an early 8-1 lead. The Lady Knights continued their strong play behind seven straight points served by sophomore Jacee Kershaw to gain a 16-2 advantage. The rest of the set was back forth before the Knights gained a two set to none advantage with a 25-12 victory.
The third set was a game of runs. The Lady Indians battled back as they took a 16-11 lead. The Lady Knights answered with a 5-0 run to knot the game at 16 points apiece. The Lady Indians then went on a 3-0 run. The Lady Knights once again answered back with a 8-0 run of their own to take control of the third set before winning 25-20.
“I thought we really pushed hard and had good communication,” said sophomore Sandrina Hallahan. “We didn’t let anything rattle us and played out game.”
The Lady Knights were led in kills by Samantha Kennedy and Samantha Byrn who each finished with seven. Kylie Wroot and Sandrina Hallahan weren’t far behind with six apiece and Wroot led the team with four blocks. Joli Hopping paced with Lady Knights with 23 assists. Jacee Kershaw led the team with four “ace” serves.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” said head coach Sally Thalken. “However we need to be more consistent. Give McCook credit, they played scrappy defense and it was hard to get a ball down.”
The #11 Lady Knights travel to Sterling, Colo. this weekend for the Pizza Hut Invitation where they will face Trinidad State Junior College (4-8), Barton County Community College (2-6), Otero Junior College (10-0) and Seward County Community College (6-4). The Lady Knights then return home for a three game home stand as they face Eastern Wyoming College (5-8) September 17, Central Community College (11-3)September 19 and Hastings College JV September 24.