It's been a week like no other for Kansas City Kansas Community volleyball,
On Tuesday, the Blue Devils shook up the Jayhawk Conference with an impressive 3-0 whitewashing of No. 21 ranked Cloud County in Concordia. On Wednesday, sophomore Cassidy Crist was named NJCAA DII National Offensive Player of the Week. And on Thursday, the best of all, a 3-2 upset of No. 2 ranked Coffeyville that will jolt the NJCAA national poll to its very core.
"Very exciting; very happy, super proud of an excellent week," said 10-year KCKCC Coach Mary Bruno-Ballou, who couldn't remember the last time she had a win over one of the nation's perennial powers. "Maybe 2014. I'm not sure."
The Blue Devils jumped in front 25-20 in the opening set and nearly came from nine points back in the second set before falling 26-24, "A great comeback to tie the game," said Bruno-Ballou. The Blue Devils went back in front 2-1, winning the third set 25-19, but let a 7-point lead get away in the fourth set, losing 25-21.
The Red Ravens took a 5-1 lead in the fifth and final set before the Blue Devils stepped on the gas with a 14-4 run and 15-9 win. "We got excellent serving in that run including a great run by freshman Kelsey Hund," said Bruno-Ballou.
Crist, who leads the nation in kills, had 21 and Mia Tomasic 15. "Both were outstanding and our setter, Adriana Velez, had an outstanding all-around performance," said Bruno-Ballou. "This team is playing hard, playing resilient and finding ways to win."
The outstanding play comes despite the fact the Blue Devils by local rule were not allowed to have 6-on-6 practices. "So we've really only had three weeks of game play while just about every other school has been playing since August," said Bruno-Ballou.
Her only disappointment Thursday were unforced hitting, serving and receiving errors that allowed Coffeyville to get in position to win sets two and four. "We're playing at a great level and earning a lot of points," said Bruno-Ballou. "If we can just control those unforced errors, we can take this season to a new level"
There will be no rest, however. The Blue Devils open their home season Monday against their oldest and bitterest rival, Johnson County, the favorite in the Jayhawk Conference and ranked No. 11 nationally. Monday's match will be screamed on the KCKCC Blue Devil website.
Sophomore middle blocker Michelle Dvorak goes high to return a volley while teammates Madi Hajek (1) and Mia Tomasic (11) look on in KCKCC's stunning 3-2 upset of No. 2 ranked Coffeyville Thursday. (Photo courtesy Coffeyville Sports Information)