CONCORDIA - Recent offensive woes continued to hurt the Cloud County Community College volleyball team as the T-Birds would drop a three-set home decision to the University of Nebraska-Kearney JV team by scores of 25-9, 25-12, and 25-19 inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Wednesday.
The defeat marks the third-straight loss for Cloud County, falling to 5-7 overall on the season.
Held to a -.010 attack percentage in the match, CCCC would commit 23 attack errors to just 22 total kills as the Lopers would hit a scorching .313 in the match and commit just a total of eight attack errors while hitting over .300 in both the first and third sets. Following a 4-0 run in the opening set by the UNK JV team to take a 6-3 lead on Cloud County, things would become all Lopers as the T-Birds would see the once-three-point deficit continue to grow throughout as attack errors would be a major issue in allowing UNK JV to go on an 11-1 run to end the set. Offensively, Cloud County would not fare all that much better in the second as another 6-3 early lead by the Lopers would 15-8 lead 7-1 run midway through the set that would put CCCC in a hole that they never could recover from. Facing a must-win situation in the third set, the T-Birds would once again find themselves in an early hole despite never trailing by more than two throughout the opening 15 points of the set. With the score sitting at a 9-8 UNK JV advantage, the Lopers would take advantage of a kill from Lauren Vandenberg to kick start a 9-0 run that would see the score become a commanding 18-8 lead. Seeing the lead grow to 11 at 20-9 and again at 21-10, the T-Birds would make a late rally by scoring seven of the next eight points after trailing 22-11 to cut the deficit to five at 23-18, but the deficit would ultimately be too large to overcome as the Lopers would close things out with a service ace to end the match.
Of Cloud County's 22 total kills, freshmen Madison Ronnebaum and Doga Eski would lead the T-Birds with five kills each with Ronnebaum adding two set assists and an assisted block while Eski recorded five total digs. Katelynn Brogan would finish with a team-best 15 digs to go along with a team-high seven digs on the evening and one of CCCC's two service aces, with sophomore Zoe Bechard responsible for the other service ace. The Lopers would be led offensively by Lindsborg, Kansas native Abby Rose who would finish with nine kills on 13 total attack attempts to hit .615 in the match and add two assisted blocks.
Four neutral-site matches are in store for Cloud County this weekend at the Hutchinson Community College Invitational beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday when the T-Birds take on No. 17 nationally ranked Mineral Area College. CCCC will also take on Missouri State-West Plains who is receiving votes in the latest NJCAA Division I Top-20 poll on Friday with the match slated for 4 p.m. before turning around to take on Jefferson College at 9 a.m. on Saturday followed by a meeting with number-two nationally ranked Indian Hills Community College at 3 p.m.