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SWCC 2-1 in opener

Published: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 11:37 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 8:13 a.m. CST

BEATRICE, Neb. — Southwestern’s volleyball team got the 2013 season off to a successful start, going 2-1 Saturday against three opponents in action hosted by Southeast (Neb.) Community College.

The Spartans beat two Division I junior colleges — 3-1 over Cloud County Community College and 3-0 over McCook Community College — before falling to Southeast Nebraska.

“This was a good weekend for us,” coach Melissa Blessington said. “I think we lacked a little bit of killer instinct against Southeast.”

Defense was a highlight for the Spartans throughout the day. Sophomores Molly Schimp, Ashley Strong and Serena Yong were consistent as a unit, Blessington said.

Freshman setter Cassidy Yong was busy, collecting 60 assists in a 3-1 victory over Cloud County, along with 32 in a 3-0 sweep of McCook and 37 in the 3-1 loss to Southeast.

Sophomore Alex Duffy pounded 21 kills with a team-high three blocks in the win over Cloud County. Strong had two aces on 14-of-16 serving.

Freshman Allyson Kocour led the team against McCook with 10 kills. Freshman Shelby Sullivan contributed eight kills and five blocks. Sullivan also notched two aces while serving 10-12.

Kocour is quickly establishing herself as a force at the net for the Spartans, hitting nine kills against Southeast, while Duffy had seven kills and four blocks. Duffy smacked two aces while serving 12-of-14.

“We need to work on blocking. It is such an important part of the game,” Blessington said. “At times when we were firing we had some very exciting moments. We just have to keep pushing and working on some things in practice. This is a very competitive group of kids, and I’m looking forward to this week’s competition.”

Some tough challenges are on the horizon. The Spartans’ home opener is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Division I Indian Hills, before a tough conference match Wednesday at nationally-ranked DMACC in Boone.

SWCC 3, Cloud Co. 1

Setting assists — Cassidy Yong 60.

Digs — Molly Schimp 25, Ashley Strong 14, Shelby Sullivan 13, Serena Yong 12.

Hitting (kills) — Alex Duffy 21, Allyson Kocour 15, Jenna Casey 13.

Blocks — Duffy 3, C. Yong 2.

Serving (aces) — Ashley Strong 14-16 (2).

SWCC 3, McCook 0

Setting assists — Cassidy Yong 32.

Digs — C. Yong 8, S. Yong 8, Strong 8.

Hitting (kills) — Kocour 10, Shamell Mangrum 8, Shelby Sullivan 8, Casey 7.

Blocks — Sullivan 5, Duffy 2.

Serving (aces) — Sullivan 10-12 (2).

Southeast Neb. 3, SWCC 1

Setting assists — Cassidy Yong 37.

Digs — Schimp 28, C. Yong 19, S. Yong 14.

Hitting (kills) — Kocour 9, Duffy 7.

Blocks — Duffy 4, Mangrum 2, Casey 2.

Serving (aces) — Duffy 12-14 (2).

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