McCook – The No. 15 North Platte Community College Lady Knights volleyball team went 5-0 at the McCook Tournament over two days. The Lady Knights travelled down to McCook on Friday afternoon where they defeated Dodge City Community College in four sets 27-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-18, Southeast Community College in four sets 25-22, 25-14, 17-25, 25-21 and Lamar Community Collge in straight sets 25-13, 25-12, 25-19. North Platte then returned on Saturday where they knocked off Eastern Wyoming College in four sets 25-13, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20 before defeating the host McCook Community College in straight sets 25-16, 25-15, 25-18.
In the opening game of the tournament the Lady Knights were led by freshman Valerie Most and sophomore Samantha Kennedy who finished with 16 kills and 15 kills respectively in their four set victory. Both Most and Kennedy had three blocks. Sophomore Samantha Byrn was also in double-figures with 10 kills. Joli Hopping paced North Platte with 26 assists while Gabbie Nickel had 16. Erika Goodwin had 21 digs while Aryn Meisinger had 12 and Byrn had 11.
Against Southeast Kennedy was the lone Lady Knight in double-figures in kills with 12 to go along with six blocks as they won in four sets. Hopping again led the way in assists with 18 while Nickel had 14. Goodwin had 24 digs while Byrn had 15 and Meisinger had 12.
In the third and final game of the first day, the Lady Knights won in straight sets and were again led by Kennedy (11 kills) and Most (10 kills). Kennedy, sophomore Kylie Wroot and sophomore Abby Kurtzer all had four blocks. Hopping contributed 17 assists and Nickel chipped in 14. Goodwin was the lone Lady Knight in double-figures for digs with 17.
On Saturday, the Lady Knights defeated Eastern Wyoming for the second time already this year in four sets. Kennedy and sophomore Taylor King both had 10 kills for North Platte. Nickel led the way for the Lady Knights with 22 assists and Hopping had 20. Goodwin had 27 digs while Byrn had 21 and Meisinger had 12.
In the final game of the tournament, North Platte knocked off their rival and the host McCook in straight sets. Kennedy and Byrn led the strong showing with 12 kills apiece while Hopping had 27 assists and Goodwin had 23 digs. Meisinger and Byrn each had 11 digs.
“We had a good weekend going 5-0,” said head coach Sally Thalken. “Next week will be very tough with Hastings College JV and Northeastern Junior College. I hope we step up to the challenge.”
The Lady Knights return to action on Tuesday September 2 as they travel to Hastings to take on the Hastings College JV at 7 p.m. North Platte then returns home on Thursday September 4 to host No. 16 (D1) Northeastern Junior College in newly remodeled McDonald-Belton Gymnasium at 7 p.m.