Cloud County falls on the road to the defending national champions

Cloud County sophomore Britt Michaelis led all T-Birds with nine digs in Wednesday's loss to No. 3 Coffeyville
Cloud County sophomore Britt Michaelis led all T-Birds with nine digs in Wednesday's loss to No. 3 Coffeyville

COFFEYVILLE, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College volleyball team faced its toughest road test of the season on Wednesday when it traveled to face the defending NJCAA Division II National Champions in Coffeyville Community College.

Cloud County (11-12 overall, 1-6 KJCCC) put up a strong fight against the No. 3 ranked Red Ravens (22-2 overall, 5-0 KJCCC), but fell a handful of points shy of its upset bid as Cloud fell in straight sets: 25-22, 25-19 and 25-18.

The T-Birds nearly stole the first set of the evening as they built their lead to as many as three points at 19-16 and held a 22-21 advantage. Unfortunately for Cloud County, Coffeyville was able to rattle off four straight points to nail down a win in Set One.

Freshman outside hitter Dayana Chara and freshman middle blocker Shelby Ohlde helped the T-Birds out to the promising start as the duo each hammered down five kills apiece in the first set.

Chara led all T-Birds with 13 kills, while Ohlde and fellow freshman middle blocker Jessica Williams each added seven kills.

Sophomore setter Cammie Miller and freshman Laken Schroeder finished with 18 assists and 15 assists, respectively, while sophomore outside hitter Giovanna Fundaro chipped in five kills to help pace the Cloud County offense.

Sophomore defensive specialist Britt Michaelis led the back row with nine digs, while freshman Willow Hunt was close behind with eight digs.

Freshman middle blocker Maria Garcia Bustos highlighted Cloud County's efforts at the front of the net as she finished with a team-high five total blocks.

Up next for the T-Birds will be a tough four-match tournament down in Great Bend this weekend, hosted by Barton Community College.

Cloud County will get action underway at 12 p.m. against Iowa Western Community College before finishing off Friday's play with a 4 p.m. match against Southeast Community College.