Wednesday, August 29, 2012

KCKCC upsets one Top 10 volleyball team, just misses another


Kansas City Kansas Community College got the 2012 volleyball season started in sensational fashion, knocking off one Top 10 team and just missing a second.

Competing in the Southeastern Community College Tournament in West Burlington, Iowa, Friday and Saturday, the Lady Blue Devils knocked off No. 6 ranked Iowa Central in straight sets and then took No. 7 ranked Parkland to five sets before falling.

The Blue Devils opened tourney play Friday by sweeping host Southeastern 25-14, 25-11, 25-11, and rallying past Kirkwood. After falling behind 22-25, 25-9, 25-27, KCKCC won the final two sets 25-20 and 15-11.

KCKCC made quick work of No. 6 Iowa Central 26-24, 25-18, 25-17 in Saturday’s first match and had a 2-1 lead over No. 7 Parkland 18-25, 25-18, 25-20 in the final match before dropping the final two sets 21-15, 11-15.

“It was a long weekend and I think we were physically and mentally exhausted and it showed in the last two sets,” said second year coach Mary Bruno. “But overall, it was a great way to start the season. We took on some tough competition and more than held our own.”

Bruno was particularly pleased with the play of middle hitters Kenya Alexander, a 6-4 freshman from Wyandotte, and 6-1 sophomore Tara Van Beek of Paw Paw, Ill.

Playing in her first college tournament, Alexander had 16 blocks and Van Beek 11 as the Blue Devils recorded an exceptional 48.5 blocks I the four matches.

The Blue Devils also got a whopping 151 assists from Jennie Kinsella, a 5-7 setter from St. James Academy, and strong right side play from sophomore Chelsea Sheldon-Medina of Waukesha, Wis., along with solid outside performances by Lisa Angello of Lansing and Sarah Mertens of Lincoln, Neb.
KCKCC opens district play Thursday at Hesston and Jayhawk play at Highland next Wednesday, Sept. 5.

The Blue Devils will also compete in the Highland tournament Sept. 7-8 before opening their home season against Fort Scott Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m.