The night started off very well for the Comets as they took the early lead at 5-2, after a 3-0 run near the start of the match. After spending the next several serves extending their lead a point at a time, the Comets went on a 4-0 run to make it 13-5.
Northeast Oklahoma clawed their way back into the game and was able to eventually get a few runs of their own going before Cottey finally put it away by scoring the last three points to take the set 25-20.
Set two seemed to follow the story of the year as the Comets suffered yet another second set lull and eventually found themselves on the wrong end of the 28-26 final score. The Comets started the set strong -- scoring the first two points -- but NEO was able to come back and the two teams went back-and-forth for most of the set.
Cottey gave up a 4-0 run in the middle of the set to go down 11-14 and were never really able to recover. The Comets made a 4-0 comeback run of their own to tie the score at 23, but after the two teams traded a few more points, NEO turned out to be the one able to close the deal.
"I know we had opportunities to come back in sets two and three," said head coach Marla Kannady Foreman. "Our serve receive was hurting us more than anything."
Set three really showed the story of the night as the Comets just couldn't seem to get anything going offensively. The Comets gave up 4-0 runs on two different occasions in the set to find themselves down 16-10 before letting NEO go on a 3-0 run a bit later to extend the lead to 21-12.
Cottey tried to come back near the end of the set with a 5-0 run to cut the NEO lead to 23-20, but again were unable to keep the momentum and close it out. Northeast Oklahoma quickly took advantage of the opportunity they were given and took the set by a final score of 25-21.
The fourth set looked as though it may be the comeback that Cottey had been looking for as the Comets came out firing and scored the first four points. Cottey stayed up by two to three points until NEO was able to tie the score at 11. From that point on, the set went back and forth and NEO was eventually able to hold on for the win to take the match, 26-24.
"I'm very disappointed, but I know my players are disappointed too," Foreman said. "I think at this point my players are in need of a break."
That break is about to come for the Comets as they will now be off until their first game in the NJCAA Region XVI tournament on Nov. 7, when they face Florissant Valley. The Comets have been battling numerous injuries in recent weeks, but Foreman and her players are still keeping their heads up and never lacking in confidence going into the match against Florissant Valley.
With Monday's loss, the Comets' record falls to 17-7 on the season and six sophomore players are nearing the end of their careers at Cottey, but several recruiting options are available and Foreman's hopes remains high for the rest of the year and the future.