The North Platte Community College volleyball team swept McCook 25-21, 25-12, 25-20 on Wednesday night at the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium.NPCC coach Sally Thalken credited McCook, who came in with a record of 1-12, for pushing the Lady Knights.
"McCook is McCook and you've always got to respect them," Thalken said.
The first 10 points of the match went back and forth. But NPCC (9-1) broke out to a 15-7 lead after libero Shannon Liewer for five straight points.
The Lady Indians battled back and they came within 22-20. But the Knights won the next two points to get the first setpoint.
Joli Hopping served the ball out of bounds to give the serve back to McCook. But the Indians did the same thing and the set was over.
"The first set was pretty even and we didn't play our best," Thalken said.
North Platte rolled in the second set. Samantha Byrn served the Lady Knights to an 8-1 lead and then Jacee Kershaw rallied off seven straight for a 16-2 NPCC lead.
"We were in control in the second set," Thalken said.
The third set was a struggle with McCook in control for much of it. The Indians led as much as 15-10 after a kill by former Brady standout Molly Hannon.
The Knights came back to tie at 16 all after an ace by Kershaw. But McCook won the next three plays afterward to lead 19-16.
But Hopping then went on a tear in service. The freshman from Sutherland gave NPCC the lead for good at 20-19 with an ace.
The Lady Knights then won the next four points and had matchpoint after a kill by Byrn.
McCook held them off for one play before Byrn ended it with another kill.
"McCook just played some pretty good defense in the third set and it was hard to get a ball down on them," Thalken said.
But after nearly a week off, Thalken said it was a good opportunity to get on the court and build on the great start the team has had.
"We do a lot of things well, we just need to do them more consistently," she said.