The North Platte Community College volleyball team was just one point away from finishing the Subway Invite on Saturday undefeated.
In the final match of the tournament against Northeastern Junior College, the Lady Knights dropped the final point to the Plainswomen with the score tied at 16-16 and they fell 24-26, 25-20 and 17-16.
NPCC coach Sally Thalken put a cap on the number of points for the tournament with 27 being the ceiling for the first two sets and 17 for the third.
"We had opportunities to win it and we did it," said Thalken of the match against NJC. "NJC is a talented team with some very good kids."
In the first match of the day for the Knights, they were on the other side in a close match beating Colby Community College 27-26, 23-25, 15-12.
In the third set, Colby took a 12-11 lead after Jacee Kershaw hit the ball out of bounds. But Savannah Welsh tied the game for NPCC with a kill.
On the next play, the Lady Knights took the lead after a hitting error by Colby. Then a block by Kershaw gave them matchpoint. NPCC then closed out the game when Mersades Klein made a block on the right side.
In the second match of the day, the Knights swept McCook Community College 25-14, 25-18.
The final match between NPCC and Northeastern pitted the two top teams in the tournament.
The Lady Knights started the match serving well and they took a 12-8 lead after Whitney Smtih made consecutive aces.
NJC came back to take a 14-13 lead but the Plainswomen couldn't open it up anymore.
NPCC then got a lead of 21-17 after Brooke Henry served for three straight plays with the last two being aces by the sophomore from Loup City.
The Knights had setpoint at 24-20 but Northeastern scored the next four to stay alive. But a kill by Kershaw gave NPCC another setpoint and the Lady Knights won it after NJC hit the ball into the net on the following play.
The second game was tightly-contested until the Plainswomen scored the final four points to force a third set.
In the third, NPCC jumped out to a 7-3 lead after Henry made a kill. But NJC came back in a hurry to take a 10-9 lead.
The two teams battled the rest of the way. The Knights had matchpoint at 14-13, 15-14 and 16-15 but they couldn't put away Northeastern.
NJC won the all-important 17th point after Jenna Vandenbark made her second straight kill in the middle.
With her team going 5-1 to start the season, Thalken said she liked what she saw from the Lady Knights.
"We knew we had good chemistry but we didn't know how we'd do against other teams," said Thalken. "I am very pleased. I thought we played well and we beat some very good teams. We learned a lot about ourselves."
The 2012 NPCC volleyball team looks to be loaded with depth and balance. In the tournament, the Knights got contributions from all 12 players on the roster.
"What I found out is that we have more depth than we have had quite some time," Thalken said.