by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Fort Scott lived up to its No. 5 national volleyball ranking with a 3-0 sweep of Kansas City Kansas Community College Monday.
“It’s the best Fort Scott team we’ve faced in my 11 years in our program,” KCKCC coach Mary Bruno-Ballou said. “They have some of the best outside hitters as a group as we’ve seen all year.”
The loss left the Lady Blue Devils 14-11 overall and 3-5 in the Jayhawk Conference but still firmly in control of a playoff berth with two games to go – at Highland next Wednesday and then the home finale against Hesston Oct. 30. Up next, however, is the Lincoln Land Tournament in Springfield, Illinois, Friday and Saturday.
Fort Scott posted 25-20, 25-18 and 25-17 wins in boosting its record to 26-4 overall and 7-1 in the Jayhawk Conference. No. 2 ranked Coffeyville (7-0) leads the conference followed by Fort Scott, Cowley (5-1), Johnson County (5-2), Cloud (4-3), Highland (3-3), Allen County (3-4), KCKCC (3-5), Labette (0-5), Hesston (0-6) and Neosho County (0-7).
A trio of sophomores led KCKCC at Fort Scott. Tara Mattingly had 13 kills and seven digs; Gracie Golay dealt out 18 assists and Amilex Lopez had 19 digs.
“Tara Mattingly played excellent on the outside and continues to grow as an athlete and as a force to be reckoned with,” Bruno-Ballou said. “Amilex Lopex passed well in addition to 19 digs and blocking wise, Lauren Leavendusky and Malaysia StClair did a very good job of stopping their outside attack.”
Fort Scott used strong finishes in each of the three sets to pull away.
“We played well and gave ourselves opportunities,” Bruno-Ballou said. “Each game we were ahead, tied or within a point or two and got stuck in rotation and could not get out of it. It comes down to our execution. We must be able to first ball side out better.”