Cottey takes NEO to the wire in five-set loss

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Cottey College Comets were ousted in five sets by Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Wednesday in Miami, Okla., 25-22, 25-22, (25-19), (25-13), and (19-17).

"Wow, wow, wow...what a great night of volleyball, minus the win," Comets coach Marla Kannady-Foreman said. "My entire team had a great night. I just wish we could have gotten a "W" out of all the hard work they put into the night."

For Cottey (3-7), Regan Kannady put forth a tremendous effort, with 26 assists, 11 kills, 10 digs, and 4 blocks.

"I told my players before they got off the bus, that if they didn't have the courage to go in and play a hard fought match, to just stay on the bus, because I didn't want them in the gym," Kannady-Foreman said. "Only the players that wanted to face adversity and be tough were asked to exit the bus and join me on the court. And I got every one of my players to come... ready to play."

Kannady-Foreman said she changed up her team's pre-game routine.

"I even changed the warm up a bit, so that we were getting more contacts and ball control passing and setting before our court time warm up," she said. So I think we will continue to use that form of pre-game warm up."

As a team, the Comets hit at a 30 percent clip in the first two sets, 22 percent in the third set, 18 percent in the fourth set, and 37 percent in the fifth. Kannady registered the highest individual hit percentage at 37 percent.

Kannady said the Comets had a game-point opportunity on the three different occasions, but we're unable to finish off NEO.

Kannady-Foreman also added that her team has shown recent improvements on the court.

"I told my players last night, we are getting up this long, hard hill," she said. "It's been slower than I wanted it to be, but there are improvements along the way to make us the team we are capable of being."

Kannady-Foreman said that in the fourth set, the team encountered some issues.

"Game four was more mental than anything else," she said. "Which resulted in more unforced errors."

Kannady Foreman said she was pleased with the overall performance.

"We only had eight total hitting errors in the five-game match (1.6 per game), along with double digit hitting percentages for each game (four out of five at least 20 percent or greater)."

By the numbers

The Comets tallied 80 digs, 54 kills, and 9 blocks.

Cottey's Kelsey Davidson rang up 20 kills, 14 digs, and 4 blocks.

Freshman Morgan Taylor chipped in with 15 digs and 14 kills.

Freshman libero Katherine Brockus added 15 digs and an ace, while Maddie Lugenbeel went for 21 assists and 2 aces.

"My players have played all the region schools except Longview," Kannady-Foreman said. "I look forward to our continued growth as players and as a team, and where we will be at the end of the season for the Region-District tournament!"

Cottey will next face Baptist Bible College at 2 p.m., Oct. 4 at Cottey.

"We are celebrating our Breast Cancer and Cancer Awareness as part of our Cottey Family Weekend (on Oct. 4)," Kannady-Foreman said. "We will be selling t-shirts at the door. Small through extra large are $10 each, and 2XL-3XL are $12 each.

"We will also have a drawing for one free t-shirt for somebody in the crowd. And will also be selling Cottey hats to the general public. We are encouraging those who have anything pink or purple, to please wear that to the game!"

Prior to the match, Comets players will hold a short ceremony.

"It's to announce who they are playing for in memory or in honor of their loved ones or friends, who have fought and lost the battle of cancer," she said. "As well as those who are still fighting.

"We will also be taking up donations for the Dr. Nancy Denman Student Life Scholarship fund. Dr. Denman was an employee at Cottey College, and lost her battle to breast cancer in 2005."

Cottey will again be at home on Oct. 7, as they matchup against Labette Community College. The start time for the game is set for 7 p.m.

On Oct. 18, Cottey hosts a tri-match, as opponents Northeast Oklahoma and Wentworth will make the trek to Nevada. The first match starts at 10:30 a.m..

The Comets next road match is on Oct. 21 in Joplin, against Ozark Christian College.

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