The North Platte Community College Lady Knights advanced their early-season record to 7-1 Saturday, with two wins in the Colby Classic. In the first game of the day, North Platte defeated host Colby Community College Lady Trojans in four sets 3-1 (15-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-19).
The Lady Knights then continued their strong play to defeat the Trinidad State Junior College Lady Trojans 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-15).
The Lady Knights started out slow Saturday morning and could never get any momentum against the Lady Trojans. They dropped the first set 15-25. But the team stormed back to win tightly contested second and third sets 26-24 and 25-23, before winning the fourth set 25-19 to defeat Colby.
Joli Hopping paced the Lady Knights with 16 assists and two ace serves. Sabrina Hallahan led the Knights with 13 kills while Samantha Kennedy was also in double figure kills with 11 and led the team with three blocks. Shannon Liewer led the Lady Knights with 25 digs. Laura Beckman contributed double-digit assists with 12.
“We got off to an incredibly slow start against Colby (Community College),” said head coach Sally Thalken “with only five kills in the first set!” We fought back to win the second set which gave us momentum into the third. It was another dog fight. We showed some character to win the third in a tight set. We worked hard to get a lead and keep momentum to win the fourth. Colby is a really good team and our girls played really scrappy defense and stayed aggressive to earn the victory.”
In the second game of the day the Lady Knights again started out slow as they dropped the first set to Trinidad State 21-25. As they had earlier in the day the Lady Knights responded by winning the second set 25-18. The Lady Knights held onto the momentum as they cruised to identical wins in the third and fourth sets at a score of 25-15.
Samantha Byrn led the way against the Lady Trojans with 14 kills as the only Lady Knight in double figures. Sabrina Hallahan had 22 digs to pace the Lady Knights while Shannon Liewer was right behind with 21 digs. Laura Beckman led the Lady Knights with 16 assists while Joli Hopping had 13.
“Trinidad State is another big team with good volleyball players,” said coach Thalken. “We once again came out a little flat and lost the first set; frustrating that we can’t start faster. I am pleased that we came back. Our aggressive serves, really scrappy defense, hustle plays that keyed momentum and controlling the net brought home the win.”
“Overall I was pleased with the weekend. We all will enjoy the extended weekend as it will bring some needed rest for the legs and some girls that are not playing at 100 percent.”
The Lady Knights return to action on Thursday, Sept. 5 in Sterling, Colo. where they take on the Northeastern Junior College Lady Plainsmen at 7 p.m. CST.
The Lady Knights then return home on Wednesday, Sept. 11 to face Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference foe McCook Community College at 7 p.m.