Volleyball goes 2-2 at challenging opening tournament
Facing a pair of top-10 opponents in its season-opening tournament played Friday and Saturday in Council Bluffs, IA, the No. 2-ranked Cowley College volleyball team split four matches.
The Lady Tigers won a pair of matches against unranked foes, but lost the matches vs. ranked opponents.
On Friday, Cowley defeated Barton Community College 27-29, 25-20, 25-13, 25-20 but then lost to No. 5-ranked Central Nebraska Community College by a score of 25-19, 20-25, 19-25, 13-25.
The Lady Tigers came back Saturday to take down Jefferson College 25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, before losing to NJCAA Division I No. 7-ranked Western Nebraska 22-25, 30-28, 17-25, 23-25.
The six freshmen on the squad got a bit of an eye opener as to what college competition will look like.
"This was a good learning experience for us as we are not accustomed to losing," Cowley head coach Riann Mullis said. "We learned a lot by playing in this tournament and now we know what we need to work on."
Freshman setter Emily Reed had a strong start to her career and finished with a high of 27 assists in one of the victories.
"Emily ran the court very well and made the right decisions with ball placement," Mullis said. "I was also impressed with her leadership."
Sophomore libero McKenna Poynter also played well and provided the team with solid defense and a match-high 23 digs.
Cowley will open conference play Wednesday when they play at Fort Scott at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Greyhounds are 4-0 on the season. Fort Scott is coached by Lindsay Hill, who was Mullis's head coach at Neosho County when Mullis was a player there. Hill also served as an assistant coach at Pittsburg State University where Mullis played her final two seasons.
"She taught me a lot, so it will be exciting for the both of us," Mullis said. "I look forward to it, it will be good, friendly competition."