The Dodge City Community College Conquistadors volleyball team ended a two-game losing steak Monday night beating the Seminole State in straight sets before doing the same against the Sterling College JV.
Game one versus Seminole State College
The Conquistadors opened the night with a straight sets win over Seminole State, by scores 25-18, 25-16 and 25-20.
In set one, the Conquistadors started slow, despite leading after the first point. Seminole State took the lead at 3-2, took it again after a few back-and-forth points at 5-4 then expanded their lead to as much as 10-5. The team then scored seven consecutive points, taking a 12-10 lead.
Conquistadors head coach Kamri Nehls said it’s frustrating when the team plays to less than their potential.
The team had lost on Sept. 29 to Colby, but in the third set had pushed Colby high into extra points, losing 29-31, a performance Nehls said was probably the team’s best volleyball so far this season.
The opening performance Monday was not nearly that good, she said, even though the Conquistadors won.
“It’s frustrating but it just shows that when it gets tight and situations get tough that we pull through and we go to work when we need to,” Nehls said.
The Conquistadors had to come back in the third set as well, falling behind by as much as 8-4 early in the set before fighting back to take the lead 15-14.
In all three sets, the took the initial 1-0, but in two of the three, they had to come back. Nehls said that shouldn’t have happened, but she was proud her team got it together when they needed to.
“Like I said, it just kind of shows that when it gets down to it, we dig our heels in and we go to work and we dig ourselves out of the holes that we shouldn’t have put ourselves in but we unfortunately did,” Nehls said.
It was the seventh win by the Conquistadors in straight sets this season, and moved them to 7-6 in straight-set matches.
Game two versus Sterling College Junior Varsity
The Conquistadors were not done however. About an hour later, they played the Sterling College JV, and beat them as well in a match that was only best-of-three instead of the usual best-of-five.
The Conquistadors beat Sterling College by scores 25-11 and 25-20.
Dodge City started fast, opening up a 3-0 lead in the first set. Sterling took a timeout after Dodge City’s expanded its lead 15-5, but Sterling had little chance in set one. Dodge City never trailed and, after taking a 4-1 lead early in the set, never led by less than three points.
“The first set we had a lot of energy and it was really fun,” said sophomore outside hitter Jaylen Peguez. “It’s always fun when you have a lot of energy. The second set, it kind of went down a little because we kind of got a little complacent, but we still pulled through so it’s OK.”
Dodge City had to work hard in the second set, despite their dominance in the first. After Dodge City took a 2-0 lead, Sterling got back into it, scoring six straight points to go up 6-2 in set two.
Dodge City reclaimed the lead after a long run of their own. Down 12-9, the Conquistadors rattled off six straight points to go up 15-12. They never trailed again, but had to work hard the rest of the way to fend off Sterling.
Nehls said she thought the team played well but also used the word “complacent” to describe some of the team’s play.
“We expected to play well today and sweep both teams,” Nehls said. “Every once in a while you need a little confidence booster games in there, which that’s kind of what they were. I thought we played well, we just made too many errors in that second set and hurt ourselves and played down to their level. Overall it was good.”
The Conquistadors don’t play again until next Monday, Oct. 9, when they host Seward County Community College. It will likely be a challenging match, considering Seward beat Dodge City in straight sets the last time the teams played, by scores 25-13, 25-10 and 25-16.
Nehls said the team will need to work on making sure they stay fully-engaged instead of playing well in spurts and taking mental breaks, but the two wins Monday night were certainly nice. Seward is good, but Nehls said she thinks the team was a little intimidated the first time the two schools played.
“I think we should compete better with them this time around,” Nehls said.
Dodge City takes on Seward County at 6:30 p.m. next Monday in the Dodge City Community College Student Activities Center.