by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information
An injury short-circuited a fast start for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s volleyball team in an opening triangular Saturday.
The Blue Devils opened the season with a 3-1 win over Metropolitan Community College on Metro’s Longview campus and took a 24-21 lead over 14th ranked Lincoln Land but lost a key performer in the process.
“Starting middle hitter Nicole Hughes went down early in the first set,” KCKCC coach Mary Bruno-Ballou said. “Our other two middles are injured so we had to take advantage of Mia Tomasic’s flexibility to move her to a position that she had never played and she did well.”
Lincoln Land rallied for a 26-24, 25-20, 25-19 sweep after the Blue Devils had defeated Metro 25-10, 25-23, 22-25, 25-15.
“We played well,” Bruno-Ballou said. “We were competitive in every set for our first match in more than a year and I’m proud of that. We had a quality win against Metropolitan. We dropped the third set but rallied and made a statement in the fourth set. Cassidy Crist was a powerhouse and dominated the net; Adriana Velez ran an excellent offense; and Kelsey Hund was tremendous on the defensive side.
“We didn’t finish the first set against Lincoln Land and our serve receiving struggled a bit but the best part is that these things can be fixed. We got good team play and effort all around and are in an excellent position as a group.”
The Blue Devils are right back in action Monday, opening Jayhawk Conference play at Cloud County before opening at home against Johnson County Monday, Feb. 1.