No. 1 Cavs fight off ’Hounds
Fort Scott Community College’s volleyball team came out of the locker room with intensity when they faced the No. 1-ranked team in NJCAA Division II, Johnson County, at Arnold Arena Wednesday night. But the Cavaliers rallied in the first set, fought off Fort Scott’s rally in the second and controlled the third set to win 27-25, 29-27, 25-16.
Coming off a three-set upset of then-No. 18 Des Moines Area, Iowa, Saturday at Johnson County’s invitational, the Greyhounds came out ready to go, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. The margin grew to 14-9 before the Cavaliers scored 6 of 7 to tie the set for just the second time at 15-15.
A Brittany Barnekoff kill put Fort Scott up 19-16 but the Cavs came back to tie it again.
Johnson County (6-0 conference, 18-2 overall) used a 5-1 run to take its first lead of the evening at 24-22. But a Mykah Wingerter kill followed by an ace serve from Laney Ward tied the set again.
A Barnekoff kill tied the set one last time at 25-25. But kills by Shannon Riley and Anna Hester gave the set to the Cavs.
Johnson County led most of the second set, going out to a 9-5 lead. It was Fort Scott that fought back this time, ting it at 18-18 on a Barnekoff block.
The Cavs led 24-23 but were called for a carry to tie the score. Fort Scott went ahead on another Ward ace. The set ended up tied two more times, the last at 27-27. Two Fort Scott errors and an ace serve by Riley closed things out.
Johnson County took a 10-4 lead in the third set after scoring 5 straight points. That lead grew to 18-11 before Fort Scott scored three win a row.
The Cavs finished up the set by scoring 7 of the last 9, a Riley kill finishing things off.
Barnekoff and Wingerter each had 10 kills for the ’Hounds. Sophie Made handed out 33 assists. Abbie Casper came up with 58 digs.
With the loss, Fort Scott is 1-5 in conference play and 10-11 overall. The Greyhounds are only a half-game ahead of 10th-place Cloud County and one game up on last-place Allen. They’re also below the .500 mark after 21 matches for the first time since 2003. That team was 9-12 at a similar point but went on to win 10 of its last 15 matches. Fort Scott is 1-6 versus ranked teams this season.
The Greyhounds play in a tournament at Central-Columbus this weekend. Conference play resumes at Kansas City Kansas Wednesday night.