The Cottey College Comets made their weekend trip to Columbia, Mo., a good one as they won all three of their matches in a tournament at Stephens College. In the opening match against Stephens, the Comets prevailed in four games: 28-30, 30-21, 30-22, and 30-21. Taking the floor against Westminster College, Cottey was again victorious in four games: 28-30, 32-30, 30-13, and 30-21. In the final match of a long afternoon, the Comets swept Baptist Bible College in three: 30-12, 30-16, and 30-13.
In both the Stephens and Westminster matches, the opponents came out of the gate fired up for game one. The Comets, however, stepped up their level of play in each of those matches to counteract their foes.
In the Westminster match, head coach Marla Kannady Foreman was trying some new tricks that may have added to Cottey's initial struggles.
"I was using a new game set-up, so I am sure they were trying to get used to that in game one," said Foreman of her players. "By game two, we had the confidence, and were making things happen. However, Westminster was also making things happen for their side, and it came down to the wire as to who would come out ahead. We just kept a level head, and made the last great play to make it our game."
That second game against Westminster seemed to take the steam out of the opponent and definitely provided a confidence booster for the Comets as they easily took game three and then closed the deal in game four.
Cottey had a 45-minute break between their second and final matches of the day. "That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what your team will do when it's time to play again," said Foreman. "My players were looking pretty worn out, and we still had another match to take on with Baptist Bible, who was showing a lot of aggressive play and scrappiness in matches one and two. In fact, they took Westminster to three very close games before losing the match, with a third game of 35-37. Then, they took Stephens to a five-game match, and ended up losing that one after a long hard fight."
Fatigue was as tough an opponent for Baptist Bible though as the Comets. Added to that was the confidence Cottey had with two wins on the day, and it was not a surprise that the Comets went home with three wins.
"For each of the matches, I had different players stepping up in their roles to make things happen to our favor at just the right times," said Foreman. "It's really good to see that everyone has the desire to step up, and that I have such a hard working team this year."
The Comets had good games from their players. Against Stephens, Lauren Jenkins had seven aces and 15 kills, Jesse Jargowsky had 25 assists, Anna Cruse had eight blocks, and Carmen Kintz added 17 digs. In the Westminster match, Jargowsky had eight aces and 24 assists, Jenkins had 22 kills, Cruse had eight blocks, and Kintz totaled 27 digs. Against Baptist Bible Michelle Schulte had six aces, Jargowsky had 17 assists, Jenkins had 11 kills, Cruse had six blocks, and Kintz again led the team in digs, this time with 22.
With the weekend sweep, the Comets raised their record to 5-2 on the season. The Comets had a home match on Wednesday, Sept. 19, when they took the floor against Northeast Oklahoma A&M Community College.
Cottey fell 1-3 in that match.
Kannady Foreman said that it would have been nice to win the game Wednesday to boost the teams confidence for some important matches coming up this weekend in Lee's Summit during the preregional district seeding tournament at Longview Community College.
This tournament gives schools in the western part of the NCJAA Region XVI, which is all of the state of Missouri plus NEO, an opportunity to play schools from the east part without having to make the trip to the St. Louis area.
On Saturday the Comets will take on East Central, Meramac and Florissant Valley.