KCKCC vs. JCCC for third time in soccer playoff Friday

KCKCC has one playoff win under its belt when the Blue Devils play host to JCCC in a 3 p.m. playoff Friday. Team members include front row, from left, Arlene Ruiz, Corrine Hughes, Alex Schemmel, Kayla Deaver and Caroline Rutledge; second row, Hailey Coates, Makenzie Denham, Ruth Nunez, Jasmine Diaz, Sydney Guerra, Karleigh Enyart and Marissa Stratton; third row, Tina Alvarez, Melissa Siegel, Maddy Broeker, Lilly Kremer, Katrina Sargent, Jaidyn Takaishi, Hannah Nystrom, Jaidyn Yingling, Paige Liston and Kayley Pedersen. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Up until this season, Kansas City Kansas Community College had never beaten Johnson County in women’s soccer. On Friday the two arch-rivals will collide for the right to advance to the semifinal round of the NJCAA Plains District playoffs.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at KCKCC with the winner advancing to the district playoffs in Wichita next Wednesday and Thursday, Nov, 6-7.

The Blue Devils ended a streak of eight matches without a win against JCCC last year when the two teams tied in both of their meetings.

The first ever win over the Cavaliers came this season on Sept. 18, the Blue Devils winning 3-2 on the road, and then completing the regular season sweep with a 2-0 home field win Oct. 11. JCCC leads the all-time series 7-2-3.

“It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season,” KCKCC coach Shawn Uhlenhake said. “But it’s great to have the opportunity to try.”

A 3-game sweep is not without precedence. The KCKCC women’s basketball team had never beaten JCCC three times in a single season until this past season on their way to the NJCAA DII national championship.

Both teams will bring four-game winning streaks into the contest. Seeded No. 4 in the Region VI playoffs, KCKCC (13-3) advanced into the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over defending regional champion Barton County while the No. 8 seeded Cavaliers (12-6-1) stunned No. 1 Cloud County 2-1 in Concordia.

The Blue Devils’ biggest challenge will be stopping JCCC’s two pronged offense of sophomores Kayla Brashear and Aina Blanche-Lopez. Brashear has scored 15 goals this season including seven game-winners while Blanche-Lopez has scored a dozen times.

“They have some dangerous attackers and a strong midfield,” Uhlenhake said. The Cavaliers are averaging 2.74 goals per game while allowing just 20 goals in 19 contests (1.03).

KCKCC will counter with a four-pronged attack of sophomore Kayla Deaver and freshmen Melisa Siegel, Corrine Hughes and Maddy Broeker.

Siegel has 10 goals and is fifth in the nation with 21 assists while Hughes has 13 goals, Deaver 12 and Broeker 8.

Kayley Pedersen leads the midfielder with six goals and seven assists while Jaidyn Yingling, Katrina Sargent and Karleigh Enjyart have four goals each.

The Blue Devils have scored 64 goals, an average of 4.0 per game.

“I’m not sure our girls understand how many goals they’ve scored and how well they’re playing,” Uhlenhake said. “Except for a couple of games, the defense has also played very well. It’s a fun group to have around.”

KCKCC has given up 25 goals this season, 10 of them came in two games, 5-3 and 5-2 losses to Coffeyville and Cowley.

For the season, the Blue Devils have given up an average of 1.56 goals a game but take away the two big losses and its 1.07 per game. Freshman goalkeeper Jaidyn Takaishi has five shutouts on the season.

The Blue Devils will start a lineup Friday of seven freshmen and four sophomores. Hughes, Siegel and either Broeker or Yinglilng will start at forward and all are freshmen.

The midfield will be made up of sophomores Deaver and Enyart and freshman Kayley Pedersen while sophs Sydney Guerra and Alex Schemmel and frosh Paige Liston and Katrina Sargent will make up the back line in front of Takaishi.

Sophomore Tina Alvarez and freshman Caroline Rutledge will provide the backup at midfield and the defense.

Three area K-State students receive online scholarships

Three area students at Kansas State University have received scholarships for online study.

They are among more than 120 students attending K-State online through the Global Campus who received scholarships this fall. The scholarships for the entire group ranged from $600 to $1,500 each and totaled more than $77,000.

The students include Shannon Bingley, senior in elementary education, K-State Global Campus Scholarship for Distance Education Students; Joanna Marin, senior in general business, College of Business Administration Scholarship for Distance Education Students; and Krystal Willis, master’s student in teaching, K-State Global Campus Scholarship for Distance Education Students, all from Kansas City, Kansas.

3-1 win over Hesston sends KCKCC to volleyball playoffs

Coffeyville next; all three Blue Devil fall teams reach playoffs for first time

Sophomore Amilex Lopez went for a kill. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

The Kansas City Kansas Community College volleyball team is headed to the NJCAA DII Region VI playoffs.

A 3-1 win over Hesston Wednesday night coupled with Allen County’s five-set 3-2 loss at Fort Scott vaulted the Lady Blue Devils into the regional playoffs Saturday, Nov. 9. It is the first time KCKCC has had all three of its fall sports teams – volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer – advance to the playoffs in the same season.

The Blue Devils 3-1 win over Hesston vaulted KCKCC into a tie with Allen County for the final Jayhawk Conference playoff berth at 4-6 with the Blue Devils advancing by virtue of a 3-1 win over Allen Sept. 18.

KCKCC will open district play as the No. 8 seed at Coffeyville Nov. 9 against the defending national champions and No 2 ranked team in NJCAA Division II. No. 3 ranked Fort Scott will play host to the other four-team district which will determine the Jayhawk Conference’s two representatives in the NJCAA DII national tournament.

KCKCC’s meeting with Coffeyville will be the third this season and while the Blue Devils were beaten 3-0 each time, four of the six sets have been by a total of 10 points – three 25-23 and one 25-21 decisions.

“We have played two very close games already and have the pieces and ability to beat Coffeyville,” KCKCC coach Mary Bruno-Ballou said. “We need to make sure on our side of the net we are not making the unforced errors that made our game with Hesston and others so close. But we’ve battled and fought to put ourselves in position to get to the nationals.”

Just a year ago, the underdog Blue Devils stunned No. 3 ranked Highland 3-2 at Highland in the first playoff round.

Eight Blue Devil sophomores played their final home game in withstanding a determined challenge by Hesston, which was 14-17 overall but only 1-9 in the Jayhawk. A 25-22 winner in the opening set, the Blue Devils dropped the second 25-23 before pulling away late for 25-19 and 25-23 decisions.

“In a must game, we came through led by sophomore Amilex Lopez with a match high 19 kills, the sophomore leadership of Gracie Golay and Allayah Stillwell and the defensive prowess of Natalia Vega Aponte,” Bruno-Ballou said. “Lopex was amazing. She injured her ankle earlier and just now is getting her vertical back.”

Down by as many as four points in the opening set, two kills each by freshman Cassidy Crist and Lopez broke a 20-20 tie in the 25-22 win. The Blue Devils trailed 19-14 in the second set before a 7-1 run pushed them into a 21-20 lead. They still led 23-22 before the Larks scored the final three points in the 25-23 win.

KCKCC opened a 10-3 lead in the third set but had to hold off a Hesston rally that closed to 21-18 before two returns by Crist, one by Lopez and block by Crist and Stillwell closed out the 25-19 win. The Blue Devils trailed 23-20 in a see-saw fourth set that was tied 10 times. After a kill by Stillwell, the Larks uncharacteristically committed three straight unforced errors before Gracie Golay’s chip shot completed the rally 25-23.

Sophomores honored following the win were Tara Mattingly, Gracie Golay, Malaysia StClair, Lauren Leavendusky, Allayah Stillwell, Natalia Vega Aponte and Amilex Lopez.

“It was great to honor our sophomores for all the hard work and dedication they’ve given to our program the last two years,” Bruno-Ballou said.

Tara Mattingly served in the fourth set. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Sophomore Tara Mattingly (1) returned a Hesston serve. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Sophomore Natalia Vega Aponte bumped a return. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Sophomore Malaysia StClair tipped the ball over the net. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Sophomore Aalayah Stillwell played the ball over. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
The Lady Blue Devils celebrated as they reached game point in the fourth set. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Freshman Justice Davis went up for a kill in the final set. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Amilex Lopez dived for a return. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Freshman Michelle Dvorak served against Hesston. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Allayah Stillwell went up for a kill. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Amilex Lopez, left, and Malaysia StClair celebrated after a kill by Lopez. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Sophomore Gracie Golay set Malaysia StClair. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Flanked by head coach Mary Bruno-Ballou, left, and assistant coach Allyssa Lutgen, sophomores, from left, Tara Mattingly, Gracie Golay, Lauren Leavendusky, Malaysia StClair, Allayah Stillwell, Madison Wright, Amilex Lopez and Natalia Vega Aponte were honored for their contributions to KCKCC volleyball after a 3-1 win over Hesston Wednesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)