Loss to North Platte Ends Sandburg Volleyball’s Stay at Nationals

  Aaron Frey
  Wednesday, April 14, 2021 2:11 PM


The Carl Sandburg College volleyball team’s third trip in the last four seasons to the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championship came to a close Wednesday as the Chargers lost 25-11, 25-18, 25-13 to North Platte (Neb.) in a ninth-place bracket quarterfinal at Alliant Energy PowerHouse.

The 14th-seeded Chargers close their season with a 10-10 record and Region IV District B title. North Platte (16-15), the 11th seed in the tournament, advances to face Terra State in a ninth-place semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Sandburg’s attack was unable to find its rhythm against the Knights, hitting a season-low .024 for the match. Megan Crome (Marshall, Ill./Marshall) and Carley Reeves-Eakins (Branson, Mo./Reeds Spring) each had six kills to pace the Chargers.

Crome joined Annie McKim (Yates City, Ill./homeschooled) and Jerzi Johnson (Monmouth, Ill./United) with one block each, and Reeves-Eakins was one of three Chargers with one ace. Setter Carmyn Baldwin (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown) had 15 assists, and libero Kelsey Hobson (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone) had 13 digs for Sandburg.

Tied at 4 in the first set, North Platte won 12 of the next 14 points to open up a 16-6 lead.

Sandburg crawled back from an early 6-1 deficit in the second set, using a 4-0 run that included a Reeves-Eakins ace to pull within 13-12. The Chargers trailed just 18-16 later in the second before the Knights took six in a row to force set point.

An 8-1 run in the third put North Platte up 13-5, and the Knights closed the match by winning nine of the last 11 points.

“It’s frustrating to get to this point and not play your best, but this team has nothing to be ashamed of,” Chargers coach Todd Winkler said. “They’ve faced just about everything you could imagine since the last summer, and they found a way to adjust and adapt to it every step of the way. I think that says a lot about the character of this group. For them to do something only two other teams in school history have done is pretty special.”

BOX SCORE: Sandburg vs. North Platte

NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championship homepage 

Volleyball player digging ball

Carl Sandburg College sophomore Kelsey Hobson makes a dig during the Chargers' match against North Platte (Neb.) on Wednesday in the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Volleyball player making block

Carl Sandburg College's Annie McKim tries to make a block during the Chargers' match against North Platte (Neb.) on Wednesday in the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

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Aaron Frey