by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Nationally ranked at the start of the 2018 volleyball season, Neosho County may be back in the NJCAA national poll by virtue of the Lady Panthers 3-0 win at Kansas City Kansas Community College Tuesday night.
Leading virtually from start to finish in an opening 25-17 win, the Panthers but had to hold off KCKCC rallies for 25-20 and 27-25 wins in the final two matches.
The Blue Devils trailed only 23-20 in the second match and were tied 25-25 in the third match before Neosho escaped.
“Neosho is on a roll but we made too many errors serving and hitting,” X KCKCC coach Mary Bruno-Ballou said. “We did show good resiliency coming back in the third set. If we can just maintain that intensity for an entire game we can be competitive with just about anyone.”
Winner of six in a row since a loss to No. 2 Cowley College, Neosho (14-9) has won eight of its last nine starts.
Meanwhile, KCKCC fell to 9-7 heading into this weekend’s KCKCC Invitational Tournament, a tournament that will include three of the Top 10 teams in the nation.
No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Coffeyville, No. 2 Cowley and No. 9 Highland are among the 11 teams that will be in action Friday and Saturday.
Each team will play four matches except for Iowa Central, which will play only on Friday, and Ottawa JV, which will play twice on Saturday.
KCKCC will open its play at noon Friday against Waubonsee and follow at 4 p.m. with a game against Iowa Lakes. On Saturday, KCKCC will play Ottawa JV at 3 p.m. and Longview at 5 p.m. The tournament schedule:
Friday tournament schedule:
10 a.m. – Longview vs. Highland; Waubonsee vs. Coffeyville.
Noon – KCKCC vs. Waubonsee; Neosho vs. Highland.
2 p.m. – Neosho vs. Iowa Centeral; Cowley vs. Northeast Oklahoma.\
4 p.m. – KCKCC vs. Iowa Lakes; Longview vs. Coffeyville.
6 p.m. – Cowley vs. Iowa Central; Northeast Oklahoma vs. Iowa Lakes.
Saturday tournament schedule:
9 a.m. – Northeast Oklahoma vs. Coffeyville; Cowley vs. Waubonsee.
11 a.m. – Iowa Lakes vs. Coffeyville; Northeast Oklahoma vs. Neosho.
1 p.m. – Longview vs. Neosho; Waubonsee vs. Highland.
3 p.m. – KCKCC v. Ottawa JV; Cowley vs. Iowa Lakes.
5 p.m. – KCKCC vs. Longview; Highland vs. Ottawa JV