Kansas City Kansas Community College’s young volleyball team got a valuable lesson in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to nationally ranked Northeastern Oklahoma Wednesday.
“When you’ve got a team down 2-0, you have to be able to finish,” said KCKCC coach Mary Bruno-Ballou of the near upset of the No. 14 ranked team in NJCAA Division II play.
The loss came in the first of three home games in a span of five days as the Blue Devils play host to Park University JV Friday at 5 p.m. and Avila University Monday at 7 p.m.
Spurred on by a boisterous crowd led by other Blue Devil athletic teams and particularly the baseball team, the Lady Blue Devils won the first two games by identical 25-23 margins but then dropped the final three 25-22, 26-24 and 15-10.
“We played with a lot of freshmen,” said Bruno-Ballou, who had only two sophomores in the starting lineup because of the ineligibility of two other sophs. “Our crowd was great and really energized us but I think we may have worn down physically and probably mentally after being ahead 2-0.
“But we also had a lot of very good things happen,” she said. “The things we didn’t do well we’ll try to clean up in practice.”
KCKCC kicks off Jayhawk Conference play next Wednesday when the Blue Devils entertain Cloud County at 6:30 p.m. After playing in the Southeast Iowa Tournament in West Burlington the final weekend of the month, KCKCC will play host to defending NJCAA national champion Coffeyville Sept. 4.