After losing a two-hour and 35-minutes, five-set match Monday, the North Platte Community College Lady Knights won a two-hour 11-minute five-set match Wednesday, defeating the Southeast Lady Storm (9-12).The scores were 24-26, 25-11, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13.
The Knights (17-8) finish the season with a 10-1 record at home, as it marked the final home game for five sophomores -- Laura Beckman of Julesburg, Colo., Sabrina Hallahan of Brush, Colo., Sandrina Hallahan of Brush, Colo., Jacee Kershaw of Culbertson and Shannon Liewer of Imperial.
The first set began with neither team gaining any advantage as they exchanged side outs. The Lady Storm finally opened a 17-15 lead and forced the Lady Knights into a timeout. North Platte even the score and the two teams exchanged leads until the Lady Storm again pulled ahead, 23-21, forcing another Lady Knights timeout. T
he Lady Knights again tied the score at 23 before the Lady Storm earned a set point.
The Lady Knights blocked a kill attempt but the Storm scored the final two points to take the first set 26-24.
The second set opened with the Lady Storm scoring the first point, but the Lady Knights raced to an 8-4 lead that forced a Southeast timeout. The Lady Knights then extended their lead to take control at 15-8. The Lady Knights continued to extend their lead to 24-9. The Lady Storm scored two more points but it was not enough as North Platte evened the match at one set apiece with a 25-11 victory.
The third set was similar to the first set. Neither team could gain an advantage early. The teams traded side outs and leads before the Lady Storm earned the first two-point lead of the set at 20-18. Southeast extended the lead to 23-18. before the Lady Knights would score two straight. It was too little too late as the Lady Storm would take the third set 25-20.
The Lady Knights started strong in the fourth set as they opened up a 7-3 lead that lead would prove to be insurmountable. The Storm did not get any closer than four points at 22-18 and 23-19 on North Platte's way to a 25-20 fourth set victory.
The deciding fifth set went back and forth as neither team could gain a large advantage. The teams switched sides of the court when the Lady Knights held the slimmest of leads at 8-7. After being tied at 9-9, the Lady Knights scored three straight points to take a sizeable 12-9 lead. But the Lady Storm scored the next two points, and the teams traded points to make the score at 13-12. The Lady Knights earned a set- and game-point at 14-12, forcing a Southeast timeout. The Lady Storm scored a point but a spike by Sandrina Hallahan won the match for the Knights, 15-13.
“I wanted to win so bad since it was our last home game,” said Hallahan. “I put all of my effort into that last hit.”
The Lady Knights were led by Samantha Byrn who finished with 13 kills. Sandrina Hallahan and Kylie Wroot were also in double figures with 11 and Samantha Kennedy was too with 10.
Joli Hopping had 26 assists and Laura Beckman had 24 for the Lady Knights. Shannon Liewer led the team with 20 digs.
“I am so proud of our sophomores and everything they have brought to this program,” said head coach Sally Thalken. “I was happy to win their last home game but we need to find a way to start matches out faster.”
The Lady Knights return to action this Friday and Saturday as they travel to Columbus for the Jimmy John Invite.