KCKCC holds two-day volleyball tourney Friday and Saturday after loss to Neosho

Valiant diving efforts by KCKCC’s Natatlia Vega Aponte, left, and Gracie Golay fell short against Neosho County Wednesday. Allayah Stillwell (10) looks on in KCKCC’s 3-0 loss. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Amilex Lopez Ayala bypassed two Neosho defenders with a return in KCKCC’s 3-0 loss to Neosho County Wednesday. Looking on were KCKCC’s Tara Mattingly (1) and Allayah Stillwell (10). (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

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


KCKCC men defeat Johnson County 3-1 for first Jayhawk Conference soccer win

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College put its first Jayhawk Conference soccer win in the books Tuesday night with a workmanlike 3-1 win over archrival Johnson County.

“We bounced back and played well,” said KCKCC coach Ruben Rodriguez, whose defending Region VI champions suffered 1-0 and 2-1 losses in their first two Jayhawk Conference contests.

KCKCC took a 1-0 lead on an Ignacio Sarasol goal assisted by Gustavo Palmieri at the 26-minute mark of the first half and then built the lead to 3-0 early in the second half.

Bruno Rovares scored an unassisted goal 12 minutes into the second half and five minutes later Kenar Huntington scored an unassisted goal for the 3-0 lead.

Johnson County foiled Fabian Keiblinger’s bid for a shutout with just four minutes remaining on an unassisted goal by Brad Tulley. Kieblinger was credited with seven saves while his teammates were getting off 13 shots.

“We were without five or six starters because of injuries or illness so the depth of our bench really played a big role in the win,” said Rodriguez said.

“We were able to uplift our game a little,” agreed KCKCC assistant coach Burke Slusher. “The guys are getting more comfortable on the field.”

KCKCC is right back in Jayhawk action Saturday, playing at Allen County at 4 p.m. The contest will follow a 2 p.m. women’s game.


Late goal foils KCKCC women’s first win over Johnson County

KCKCC forward Jessica Hill (17) took dead aim on Carmen Rush’s perfectly placed corner kick before deflecting it into the net for a 2-1 lead over Johnson County Tuesday. The two teams played to a 2-2 tie. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Just five minutes and 46 seconds separated Kansas City Kansas Community College and its first-ever women’s soccer win over Johnson County Tuesday.

As it was, the Lady Blue Devils and Cavaliers battled through two 10-minutes overtimes in a 2-2 deadlock. The tie left KCKCC at 1-1-2 heading into another Jayhawk Conference clash at Allen County Saturday at 2 p.m. with a men’s game to follow at 4 p.m.

KCKCC twice led JCCC Tuesday. An unassisted goal from the left hash mark by freshman Cristina Alvarez gave KCKCC a 1-0 lead at the 36:47 mark of the first half only to have JCCC sophomore Manuela Gonzalez tie it on a perfectly placed kick from 20 yards that sailed just under the cross bar at the 17:39 mark.

The Lady Blue Devils then went ahead 2-1 in the opening two minutes of the second half, Shawnee Heights sophomore Jessica Hill slipping between two defenders to knock in a well-placed corner kick by DeSoto sophomore Carmen Rush.

For the next 38 minutes, freshman goalkeeper Alee Alter and a corps of defenders turned away kick after kick only to have the Cavaliers’ Megan Nugent tie it with a kick just inside the box with 5:46 left.

“We had two very good opportunities in overtime but Johnson County’s goalkeeper made a good play on one and their defenders turned away the other one,” KCKCC coach Shawn Uhlenhake said.

The first head coach to play JCCC’s women to a tie, Uhlenhake was ecstatic about the play of his defense.

“The defense was great,” he said. “It was under pressure for the majority of the game. JCCC took a lot of shots but all of the shots were pretty much pressured by our defense. And Alee Alter did a great job in goal making sure all their shots were secured.”

Alee was credited with eight saves and it would have been more had not Blue Devil defenders Madison Plake, Sydney Guerra, Alex Schemmel, Micayla Nemnich and Carmen Rush turned away JCCC attackers – an exceptional performance considering the game was played in 90-degree heat.

“We’re playing at lot of freshmen and they played hard to give us a chance to win,” Uhlenhake said. “Once they learn how to play the game this team could be dangerous.”

KCKCC freshman goalkeeper Alee Altar made one of several saves in the Blue Devils’ 2-2 tie with Johnson County Tuesday. Teammate Fatima Rebollo (19) trailed the play. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Blue Devil sophomore Madison Plake was sent to the turf in her effort to beat a Johnson County defender to the ball in KCKCC’s 2-2 tie with the Cavaliers Tuesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
KCKCC freshman Erin Williams of Tonganoxie won a race to the ball in the Blue Devils’ 2-2 deadlock with Johnson County Tuesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)