The North Platte Community College Lady Knights volleyball team won late Friday night, but dropped two on Saturday afternoon to close out the Pizza Hut Invitation in Sterling, Colo. The Lady Knights record stands at 10-4.
Late Friday night the Lady Knights defeated the Barton County Community College Lady Cougars in three sets (25-19, 25-10, 27-25).
On Friday, the Lady Knights fell to the Otero Junior College Lady Rattlers in five sets (25-20, 24-26, 23-25, 25-23, 11-15) and the Seward County Community College Lady Saints in four sets (25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 15-25).
In their second game of the night on Friday the Lady Knights came out looking to get back on the winning track against Barton County Community College. The Lady Knights came out strong and won the first set 25-19. The Lady Knights continued their strong play as they defeated the Lady Cougars 25-10 in the second set. The third set was a tight battle before the Lady Knights won the set and game 27-25.
The Lady Knights were led against the Lady Cougars by Samantha Kennedy who finished with 13 kills and two blocks. Shannon Liewer led the Lady Knights with 19 digs and five “ace” serves. Joli Hopping had 20 assists and Laura Beckman had 14.
In the third game of the Pizza Hut Invitation and first of the day Saturday the Lady Knights dropped a hard fought five set battle with the Lady Rattlers. The Lady Knights came out swinging in the first set as they won 25-20. The Lady Rattlers responded with victories of their own in the second and third sets 24-26 and 23-25. The Lady Knights would not go quietly as they answered with a fourth set victory 25-23 to square the match at two sets apiece. In the fifth and deciding set the Lady Rattlers were too much for the Lady Knights as they won 11-15.
Samantha Kennedy again led the Lady Knights in kills as she finished with 16 to go along with five blocks. Sandrina Hallahan was not very far behind as she finished with 15 kills of her own. Joli Hopping led the Lady Knights with 20 assists and Laura Beckman had 22. Shannon Liewer led the Lady Knights with 25 digs.
In the final game of the Pizza Hut Invitation the Lady Knights fell to the Lady Saints in four sets. The Lady Knights started out fast as they claimed a first set victory 25-22. However they were not able to hold onto their moment as they dropped the next three sets to lose the game by scores of 18-25, 22-25 and 15-25.
Sandrina Hallahan led the Lady Knights with nine kills in the final match of the day. Other leaders for the Lady Knights were Samantha Kennedy with five blocks, Shannon Liewer with 28 digs and Joli Hopping with 19 assists.
“We got into a game with Otero that we played not to lose,” said head coach Sally Thalken. “We were the first to eight in set five but just turned safe. Both teams we played today played VERY aggressive. I felt like we were playing defense ALL the time. We came out in the first set of our second game of the back-to-back with some energy. We lost focus, discipline and quickness as the match wore on. We just tried to keep the ball in play; consequently we sent a lot of free balls over and just flat out got beat on Seward’s aggressive play, a lesson that aggressive teams win.”
The Lady Knights return home for a three game home stand starting next week as they face Eastern Wyoming College (5-9) September 17, Central Community College (13-3) September 19 and Hastings College JV September 24.