McCook Community College rallied back from a 0-2 deficit to stun North Platte Community College on Thursday at McDonald-Belton Gymnasium in North Platte.
In a battle of Mid-Plains schools, McCook (14-7) flipped the script on NPCC (9-14) on what looked to be a celebratory sophomore night early on.
After NPCC won a pair of close sets to begin the match, McCook grabbed momentum and didn’t relinquish it, taking the final three sets to win the match 23-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 15-10.
Although Wednesday marked the final regular season home game for NPCC’s five sophomores — Haiden Kreber, Bailey Chintala, Sydney Mullin, Gabby Menghini and Trinity Langley — the Knights could host the Region IX Tournament. NPCC is currently 2-0 in region play, Central Community College is 2-1 and Southeast Community College is 0-3. The Knights will play at Southeast on Oct. 7 and at Central on Oct. 17, with the Region IX Tournament taking place Nov. 1-2.
Set 1: A back-and-forth first set saw the two teams knotted at 12-12 and 15-15. The Indians went on a 3-0 run, taking an 18-15 advantage on a kill from freshman Fernanda Canedo.
With McCook up 19-16, NPCC came out of a timeout and went to Mullin who hammered home a kill. The Knights ended the set on a 9-4 run to take a 1-0 match lead.
Set 2: Again the two teams traded points early with the score even at 11-11.
A Menghini ace gave NPCC a 12-11 lead and they never trailed or were tied again. The Knights got a block-kill from Mullin to make it 18-14 NPCC and cruised to a 25-22 set victory.
Set 3: McCook blitzed NPCC, jumping out to a 12-3 lead, that eventually became 18-5.
Knights head coach Alexa McCall called a pair of timeouts to try and refocus her squad, but the Knights could never claw closer than six.
Set 4: With newfound momentum, the Indians again jumped out to a big lead, going up 8-1.
NPCC trimmed the lead to 10-8, but McCook closed the set on a 15-10 run to tie the match 2-2.
Set 5: Hershey native Emily Barr and Ogallala product Mackenzie Anderson set the tone for McCook with two consecutive tandem-blocks for an early 2-0 lead.
The Indians extended that to 6-1, prompting another NPCC timeout.
The Knights put up a fight and cut the lead to 12-9, but that was as close as they got as
McCook got a match-point on a kill from Anderson.
McCook is back in action on Friday when they host Lamar Community College, while NPCC will play in the Ramada Classic this weekend in Columbus.
McCook (14-7) 23 22 25 25 15 — 3
NPCC (9-14) 25 25 18 18 10 — 2