Mary Bruno-Ballou has had many wins in her 10 years as Kansas City Kansas Community College volleyball coach, some bigger than others.
One of those came in the Blue Devils' 3-0 upset of No. 21 Cloud County in Concordia Tuesday night. Not only was Cloud higher ranked nationally than the No. 24 Blue Devils, the Thunderbirds were predicted to finish fourth in the Jayhawk Conference, KCKCC fifth.
Because of inclement weather, the match had to be postponed from Monday, stripping the Blue Devils of their only starting middle blocker, Michelle Dvorak, who was scheduled for a nursing exam that could not be re-scheduled.
"We won with a lineup we just tried in our walk throughs," said Bruno-Ballou. "Players were playing positions they normally don't play. After not playing for almost 2½ years and barely cleared from injury, Jordan Johnson came in and started at middle for us although she had only played six-on-six for one day."
Bruno-Ballou was particularly pleased with the input from her players and assistant coaches Aysa Herron and Dee Bruno. "Our athletes are resilient and amazing; the team so extraordinary. And the coaching staff was superb, thinking outside the box to be successful," she applauded.
Led by 18 kills by Cassidy Crist, the Blue Devils were totally in control in the 25-21, 25-17, 25-20 sweep to move to 2-1 on the season heading into next Monday's Jayhawk Conference home opener against Johnson County, the Jayhawk pre-season favorite. The match will be streamed on the KCKCC Blue Devil website at 6:30 p.m.