T-Birds top Kansas Wesleyan JV to move back to .500 on the season

Cloud County freshman Haven Hamilton had a career-high 14 kills in Friday's 3-1 win over Kansas Wesleyan JV
Cloud County freshman Haven Hamilton had a career-high 14 kills in Friday's 3-1 win over Kansas Wesleyan JV

SALINA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College volleyball team headed south on US-81 on Friday, earning a 3-1, bounce-back victory over Kansas Wesleyan University JV.

Cloud County (11-11 overall, 1-5 KJCCC East) got back to .500 on the season with the victory over the Coyotes (1-5 overall), which served as a nice palate cleanser after a tough 3-0 loss to Hesston College at home on Tuesday.

The T-Birds got off to a shaky start, dropping the first set 25-17, but rallied to earn wins of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-19 in succession to close out the evening.

"As the night went along, we saw a lot of highlights," said Cloud County head coach, Deb Monzon. "We definitely saw a quicker offense the last three sets than we've been running and saw more chemistry on the court, which will be very important as we move for the next few weeks."

Freshman right side hitter Haven Hamilton led the charge with a career-high 14 kills. Sophomore Giovanna Fundaro joined her in double-figures with 11 kills, while adding 14 digs and a team-high six service aces.

"Haven played lights out and with a lot of fire," Monzon said. "She took care of the ball and put it down when she got her opportunities. And then Giovanna was just steady in all facets again."

Freshman middle blocker Jessica Williams added eight kills, and hitters Dayana Chara and Erica Gilbert each added seven kills on Friday, as well.

Cloud County's setter tandem of sophomore Cammie Miller and freshman Laken Schroeder finished with 22 and 20 assists, respectively, to highlight a strong night from the T-Birds' attack.

Defensively, freshman defensive specialist Willow Hunt popped up a team-high 16 digs and sophomore Britt Michaelis tallied nine digs.

Freshman middle blocker Maria Garcia Bustos had a banner night at the front of the net as she finished with a career-high nine total blocks.

Cloud County will look to build off the positives from Friday's performance as it prepares for a grueling week, which includes a Wednesday road match against the defending NJCAA Division II champions, No. 3 ranked Coffeyville, as well as a match on Friday against a good Iowa Western Community College squad.

"We have two big matches this week, so it was great to see that chemistry on the court back," Monzon said. "We know we still have some areas to work on and clean up, but it's starting to come back together."