CHARLESTON, W.V. – It was a tale of two stories on Thursday at the NJCAA DII National Volleyball Tournament.
In their first match of the tournament, the Hawks (20-14) gave it all they had, defeating North Dakota State College of Science in five sets (25-14, 18-25, 26-24, 18-25 and 15-9), before dropping a hard-fought three-set match to No. 1-seed Coffeyville Community College (15-25, 21-25 and 20-25) at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, W.V.
In the first set, the Hawks were powered by a .273 hitting percentage that included 13 kills and only four errors. After dropping the second set, the Hawks took NDSCS to extra points in the third, recording 20 kills and eight errors.
Northeast was ultimately plagued by errors in the fourth set, but rebounded after committing two errors in the fifth set.
Kalli Brester (Howells, Neb.) had one of her best games in a Hawks uniform, tallying 24 kills and 27 digs. Hannah Heppner (Stanton, Neb.) had 13 kills and six blocks, while Megan Wehrbein (Lewiston, Neb.) added 10 kills and eight digs. Savannah Nelson (Wakefield, Neb.) led the way at the setter position with 51 assists, while Delaney Belt (Shelby, Neb.) and Gabriela Barbosa (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) had 20 and 18 digs, respectively.
"Today was a pretty good day here in West Virginia," head coach Amanda Schultze said. "We got off to a slow start in our game against NDSCS, but despite making many attacking errors, we were able to finish strong and come out with a win. Kalli Brester really did a nice job for us with 24 kills and 27 digs."
In the second match of the day, the Hawks were unable to fend off a powerful hitting Coffeyville team.
Brester and Wehrbein had seven kills each, while Nelson added 22 assists and 10 digs.
"Our second game didn't go as we wanted it to go, but I was very proud of how the girls played and held their ground against the No. 1 seed in the tournament," Schultze added. "We struggled in the serve-receive line the first set, but after that we played with Coffeyville and did not make a lot of errors. We are ready to come back strong tomorrow."
The Hawks will battle South Mountain Community College at 1:30 p.m. (CT) in Charleston, W.V.
South Mountain was beaten by ICCAC foe, Kirkwood Community College on Thursday night in five sets.
For all news related to Northeast Community College athletics, visit northeasthawks.com for complete coverage. Fans can also follow the Hawks on Twitter @NortheastHawks for game-day coverage.