CONCORDIA -- Finally able to take the court in live game action, the Cloud County Community College volleyball team dropped a three-set decision to visiting Kansas City Kansas Community College to open Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Tuesday.
With one match now in the books, Cloud County falls to 0-1 overall and 0-1 in the KJCCC as the Blue Devils run their record to 2-1 on the year while picking up a win in their conference opener and avenging last year's loss to the T-Birds.
Things would get off to a slow start for both squads in the opening set as the two teams would trade the first six points before a Lakyn Tenbrink kill would give CCCC their first lead of the night at 4-3. KCKCC would respond by going on a 6-1 run to grab a 9-5 lead and force an early Cloud County timeout as a pair of Blue Devil service errors would allow CCCC to stay within striking distance at 10-7. Trailing 14-8, Cloud County would manage to go on a 5-0 run and pull within one but it would be Kansas City Kansas who would have a response to push the lead back out to 16-13. Cloud County would get back within a single-point at 16-15 and again at 19-18, but it would be too much KCK down the stretch as the Blue Devils rattled off the final four points of the set to ultimately take a 25-21 opening set victory.
In the second set, Cloud County would keep things close in the opening points before managing to grab a 9-8 lead, but it would be the Blue Devils that would manage to find some momentum and score 11 of the next 17 points to force a T-Bird timeout at 19-15. CCCC would be unable to get any closer than four points the rest of the set as KCKC would once again manage to close the set out on a run and take a 25-17 decision to find themselves just one set away from a match win.
With their backs against the wall in the third set, Cloud County would once again be able to keep the set close by splitting the first 10 points to make it a 5-5 score, but a 5-2 run by KCK would give the Blue Devils breathing room at 10-7. The Kansas City Kansas lead would continue to grow, reaching a 15-8 margin to force a CCCC timeout before seeing the T-Birds try and make a late run and get within five at 23-18 and four at 24-20. The Blue Devils however would get the final point they were in need of to close out the match as Cloud County would fall by a score of 25-20 to see KCK sweep the match.
Offensively, Natasha Dooley would lead the T-Birds with eight kills on 17 attempts with no attack errors as the Garden Plain, Kansas native would also add a team-best nine digs. Jaycee Burghart would record 15 total set assists for CCCC in addition to six digs while three different T-Birds would record two service aces (Tenbrink, Delaney Herold, and Lizzy Pfortmiller).
CCCC is back in action on Thursday night as the T-Birds will hit the road for the first time this season with a 5 p.m. road match at Labette in Parsons. The Cardinals are 0-1 overall and 0-1 in Jayhawk Conference action after falling in four sets to Allen on Monday night to open their 2020-21 campaign.