Central Community College–Columbus volleyball went on the road for the second straight weekend and wont two of three matches in Norfolk.
The team went 1-1 on Friday with a win over Lake Region State College and a loss to Kirkwood Community College. It then wrapped up on Saturday in a win over Fort Scott Community College.
CCC-Columbus improved to 9-2 with the victories, though coach Mary Young said any sort of judgment on the team is preliminary at best. She said she believes the team still has a long ways to go, and the best is yet to come.
“We have a pretty young team and we’re expecting a lot out of players in pretty crucial positions. To be 7-2 is a really great start,” Young said.
“It’s early. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re going to take losses, and we’re going to take wins. If we learn from our losses, we’re going to be that much better of a team in October.”
The loss Young said she hopes the team learned from the most was a 3-0 sweep to Kirkwood in Friday’s second game (25-25, 31-29, 25-19). After starting the day Lake Region State 25-13, 25-15, 25-14, the Raiders hit just .141 in the loss.
Kirkwood’s Alexa Ingram piled up 22 kills while hitting .466. Only Shania Borchers managed to attack at .300 or better.
CCC bounced back the following day in a five-setter with Fort Scott battling out of a two sets to one hole for a 17-15 finish in the fifth.
The Raiders won the opener 25-21, dropped the next two 25-21, forced the deciding set with a 25-23 win then edged out the Greyhounds by two to cap the weekend.
“I really thought all along we’d be a work in progress, and I believe that to be true. We get better and better each day and each week. We’ve seen marked improvement, but even in our win over Fort Scott, a good win where we pushed through tough portions, I felt we took some mental breaks,” Young said.
It’s a tendency, she said the team has, to take the long way around in some victories.
“The long way has worked, but it sure would be a lot easier if we’d be a little more focused, pass a little bit better and more consistently,” she said.
“Probably the biggest issue is we break our own momentum a lot.”
As she has all season, Jacie Laetsch put together a big weekend with double-doubles in kills and digs in all three matches - 14 and 26 against Fort Scott, 11 and 12 versus Kirkwood and 10 and 10 facing Lake Region State.
“She has been strong game in and game out,” Young said. “We go as Jacie goes. She’s been great for us. I can’t say enough about her leadership and her ability to find ways to get us points on the board.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for The Columbus Telegram. You can reach him via email at email@example.com