Red Devils post 21st win of season

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Up for the block is Allen County Community College’s Suzie Fields (12) against a Hesston College hitter in Wednesday night’s match here. The Red Devils won 25-15, 25-15, 25-15 and head to the NJCAA Division II, Region VI playoffs.

Emotions were running high here Wednesday night. Nine sophomores were recognized before Allen County Community College’s home match.
“We were just so full of emotion out there that it took us a little time to settle down,” said Jennifer House, sophomore hitter, after the Red Devils defeated Hesston College 25-15, 25-15, 25-15.
“Everyone contributed to the win. Autumn (Lamle) has been a big part of our team even sitting on the bench. It was just good to win our last home match.”
House, Lamle, who has been hampered all season with injuries, Suzie Files, Amanda Placencia, Brooke Bingham, Mindi Lozenski, Amy Bolen and Misty Powelson along with ACCC trainer Emma Gilmore were honored as sophomores.
With the win in the season finale, the Red Devils have a 21-17 overall record. It’s the first 20-plus win for an ACCC team since a 27-15 mark in 2002.
Allen County is 7-5 in Region VI , NJCCA Division II play, which puts it at the No. 7 seed in the district tournament, Nov. 7. The Red Devils travel to Johnson County in the opening round.
“I’m so proud of this group of girls. These eight sophomores have helped establish the type of volleyball we want to play year in and year out at Allen County,” said Jessica Peters, ACCC head coach.
Peters was a freshman player at ACCC in 2002 so she was emotional about having the first 20-plus season as a coach since that year.
“Our girls responded well at home through all the emotions. This team has been playing well over the last month (11-5).”
Allen County took on
Hesston at home in a region match. In each set, there was a spot when Allen County got a serving run to earn separation.
In the opening set, Fields used a tip for a kill and get the ball back at 9-9. Then Fields went to the service line for four points, the last three on ace serves. Fields had six aces in the match and served for 11 points overall.
With a 13-10 lead, the Red Devils steadily built from there. Freshman Andrea Miller had three points, the first on a block by Fields and third on an ace to push ACCC up to a 20-13 lead.
Fields was serving for set point and Miller made the block at the net to give ACCC the win.
Hesston got out to a 3-0 lead in the second game but freshman Nicole Rockhold, who had 11 kills on the night, came up with a hard hit to get ACCC on the board.
Bingham served two points to get the Devils even at 8-8. The second set was tied four more times.
Allen County took a 13-12 lead on a defensive point. Miller stepped to the service line for five straight, the last two on kills by House and Bolen.
House had a three-point serving stint that included a kill by Rockhold, Bolen and Fields combining for a block and an ace serve.
One point away and Hesston serving, the Red Devils made the pass, the set and let Rockhold pound down a kill for the set point.
The third set went much the same way as the first two: close until two six-point serving runs by Allen County.
Rockhold’s kill made it 12-11 then Fields served for six points. On Hesston's next serve, Miller, who had 10 kills in the match, delivered at the net to make it 19-12.
Placencia came in off the bench to serve the next six points. Miller had a block and a kill at the net in run and Lozenski had a kill.
Hesston got the volleyball back and served for two points. But on the third serve, the Red Devils put it in the air for House to deliver. House brought the house to a roar with a match-point kill.
Now, it’s a week of work for the playoffs. And work is what got the Red Devils to this point.
“Last year we didn’t make the playoffs so this is a big deal for us, especially the sophomores,” House said.
“All of our hard work in practices and on the court has paid off. We’re excited about taking on Johnson County again. We took them to five sets before losing so we know we can play with them.”
Johnson County beat Highland 25-21 23-25, 25-19, 25-21 Wednesday night. Johnson County is ranked fifth in NJCAA Division II.
Fields had six kills, one solo block and two assisted blocks at the net. Miller served for eight points and had two ace serves plus had three solo blocks and one assisted block at the net. Placencia served up seven points and had six defensive digs.
House delivered seven kills and had a block. She had five service points, one ace and 13 digs. Bingham served for five points, had one ace and 10 digs.
Lozenski was credited with 30 set assists and served four points. She had seven digs and one assisted block.
Powelson came up with 12 digs. Bolen had two kills, one solo block and two assisted blocks. Rockhold served one point to go with her 11 kills.