NORFOLK, Neb. – The Northeast Community College volleyball team saved the best for last on Tuesday night.
After dropping the first set, the Hawks rallied back to fend off No. 9 Kirkwood Community College (17-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-14 and 15-13) in a five-set thriller at the Cox Activities Center in Norfolk.
The Hawks held Kirkwood in check down the stretch, recording a .422 attacking percentage in the fourth and fifth set. It wasn’t easy from the start as Kirkwood found some momentum to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set. However, a strong offensive attack led by Kalli Brester (Howells, Neb.) and Caitlin Orton (Mills, Neb.) proved to be the difference late in the game.
“Tonight the girls did a nice job,” head coach Amanda Schultze said. “Losing the first set is always tough to come back from. The girls fought hard to come back and win in five sets. Kirkwood had a very good right-side that we struggled to defend that first couple sets, but once we blocked her a couple times, she played a little more timid and we were able to keep her from being effective for them.”
With the win, the Hawks are a perfect 9-0 on their home court this season.
Brester led the Hawks with 16 kills and 16 digs. Orton added 12 kills and four blocks, while Gabriela Barbosa (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) tallied 27 digs. Sophomore setter Savannah Nelson (Wakefield, Neb.) pitched in 46 assists.
The Hawks (17-13, 8-1 ICCAC) host part of the ICCAC Tournament, beginning at 1 p.m., Saturday in Norfolk.