KCKCC women sweep JCCC first time; clinch first playoff berth

A free kick by KCKCC freshman Kayley Pedersen was perfect as it just cleared a leaping Johnson County goalkeeper Isabelle Joseph. The goal was KCKCC’s first in a 2-0 win Friday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

For the first time in the 8-year history of women’s soccer, Kansas City Kansas Community College is headed to the NJCAA DI women’s soccer playoff berths – thanks to yet another milestone win.

A 2-0 win Friday cemented the Blue Devils’ first ever sweep of arch-rival Johnson County and assured the playoff berth with two games still to go – at Allen County Wednesday and a season-ending home clash with Coffeyville Sunday afternoon, Oct. 20.

Still on the line is clinching a home playoff berth and an outside chance of overtaking league-leading Cowley College,

A sweep of the final two games and two Cowley losses in the Tigers’ final three games would vault KCKCC into a tie for the Jayhawk Conference championship. Cowley (8-1) leads the league followed by KCKCC (7-3), Butler County (5-3-1), Coffeyville (5-4), Johnson County (5-5), Neosho County (1-6-1) and Allen County (0-9).

The Blue Devils did all their scoring against JCCC in the final five minutes of the first half. Freshman Kayley Pedersen of Shawnee Mission West scored on a free kick from outside the box on a shot that just cleared a leaping JCCC goalkeeper Isabelle Joseph with 4:12 left and freshman Madison Broeker of Lincoln, Nebraska, followed with a breakaway goal with 1:06 remaining in the half.

“We played well,” said KCKCC assistant coach Sara Matthews, who has taken the coaching reins while head coach Shawn Uhlenhake recovers from major surgery. “Kayley Pedersen not only scored but shut down a lot of JCCC’s attack before it got to the back line and was able to play balls through to our forwards. Maddy Broeker also provided a lot of energy to the front line and Tina Alvarez stepped up to provide quality minutes in the midfield.”

KCKCC got a stellar effort from goalkeeper Jaidyn Takaishi and the Blue Devil defensive back line of Paige Liston, Sydney Guerra, Katrina Sargent and Alex Schemmel. A freshman from Olathe North, Takaishi had six saves on 10 Cavalier shots. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils got off 14 shots against two JCCC goalkeepers.

“I am so very proud of this group,” Matthews said. “Our young program’s goal over the last couple of years has been to make the playoffs for the first time. But we can’t lose focus on our preparation every day. This season is not over. We have a chance to host a playoff game so we need to keep our sights on one day at a time.”

Ranked No. 17 in the United Soccer Coaches national rankings, the Blue Devils boosted their overall record to 10-3.

“What’s important now is how we go out and earn our successes,” Matthews said. “The season is a grind for every team and while we’ve had our ups and downs, we have shown the competitive heart to win close games. We’ve become a force to be reckoned with and we can’t wait to grow the program even more.”

Freshman Madison Broeker unleashed the kick that gave KCKCC a 2-0 lead in the final minute of the first half Friday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins
Madison Broeker got a big hug from teammate Corrine Hughes (21) after scoring KCKCC’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Johnson County Friday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Despite a valiant try, freshman Corrine Hughes (21) could not get this header past Johnson County goalkeeper Sydney Jones as teammates Tina Alvarez and Jaidyn Yingling (6) look on in the Blue Devils 2-0 win Friday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

KCKCC to hold m-pact Vocal Festival

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College will be the site of a November music festival held by the Los Angeles based pop-jazz vocal group, m-pact.

The m-pact Vocal Festival is Nov. 14 and 15 at the KCKCC Performing Arts Center. A non-competitive festival, vocal jazz ensembles, contemporary a capella groups and other small choral ensembles have the opportunity to work hands-on with the award-winning group.

In addition to the master classes and workshops, m-pact will also perform in a concert with KCKCC’s “The Standard” Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the KCKCC Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for the concert are $15 and can be purchased from the festival’s website at https://www.m-pact.com/event/2490902/481366624/m-pact-vocal-festival. Acaville Internet Radio, which offers a range of a cappella music through its streaming service, will be on site to stream the concert at https://www.acaville.com/.

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” m-pact is known for its sophisticated sound that has won the group Vocal Group of the Year at the L.A. Music Awards and an Indie nomination from the Independent Grammys.

The group has been named Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition and has performed with artists such as Boyz II Men, Sheryl Crow, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Maynard Ferguson Big Band and Natalie Cole, among many others. Their “signature sound” can also be heard in television theme songs as well as Disney feature films and on radio stations throughout the world.

Started in 1995, m-pact has made five full-length albums, three EP’s and several single releases and continue to receive rave reviews and multiple awards.

Billboard Magazine named them the “Best Unsigned Band” and in 2014, the group joined with New York a cappella powerhouse Duwende to produce “I Wish for All Time,” an a cappella tribute to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. M-pact continues to thrill audiences with their innovative orchestrations and stage presence as well as their vocals as they work to stay true to the music they are performing.

KCKCC routs Labette 3-0 in next-to-last home volleyball game

Sophomore Tara Mattingly soared high to deliver a return under the watchful eyes of teammates, from left Michelle Dvorak, Amilex Lopez, Lauren Leavendusky and Gracie Golay (2) in KCKCC’s 3-0 sweep of Labette Wednesday. (KCKCC photo by Brandon Burgette)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College can make a strong claim for being the best unranked volleyball team in the Jayhawk Conference.

Unfortunately, that still leaves the Lady Blue Devils as the seventh best team and in eighth place in the current conference standings.

A decisive 3-0 home court winner over Labette Wednesday, the Blue Devils improved to 3-4 in conference play and 14-10 overall but they still remain a half-game behind Allen County (3-3) for seventh place in the Jayhawk with three contests to play. KCKCC does hold the tie-breaker over Allen by virtue of a 3-1 win.

KCKCC is back on the road Monday at Fort Scott and after a weekend in the Lincoln Land tournament in Springfield, Illinois, the Blue Devils go to Highland Oct. 23 and finish at home against Hesston in the annual Sophomore Game Oct. 30.

Ranked No. 2 nationally, Coffeyville (6-0) leads the conference followed by No. 6 Fort Scott (6-1), No. 4 Cowley (5-1), No. 7 Johnson County (5-2), No.10 Highland (3-3) and No. 13 Cloud County (3-3). Against all foes, the six ranked teams are 140-25.

The Blue Devils jumped on Labette early and often as they rolled to 25-10, 25-13, 25-13 wins.

“An all-around team win with everyone on our roster getting a chance to contribute,” KCKCC coach Mary Bruno-Ballou said. “Cassidy Crist had a career high day with 18 kills and only one error in the three sets and the defense was outstanding..

“Overall I was very pleased with the things we did. As a group we put into play a lot of things on which we worked this week. Now we have to gear up for a really competitive match at Fort Scott on Monday.”

Lauren Leavendusky, a sophomore right side, took aim at a big return in KCKCC’s 3-0 win over Labette Wednesday (KCKCC photo by Brandon Burgette)
Freshman Cassidy’s return volley was a blur as her 18 kills with only one error led KCKCC to a 3-0 sweep of Labette Wednesday night. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)