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Saturday, November 17, 2018
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Metro Sports Report

KCC volleyball eyes 3rd in nation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team lost in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division II national tournament Friday and will play for third place Saturday afternoon.

Kirkwood (34-9) will meet Johnson County (29-8) at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia.

The Eagles were swept by Coffeyville in the semifinals, 25-18, 25-20, 25-17, in the semifinals. Coffeyville will face Parkland for the championship Saturday afternoon.

Coffeyville is the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Parkland is No. 2, Johnson County is No. 3 and Kirkwood is No. 5. The Eagles defeated No. 4 South Mountain, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.

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Kirkwood women iron out some bugs

The Kirkwood Eagles have been a mystery during the early part of the women's basketball season.

Normally a high-powered outfit, they scored only 30 points in their first game of the year. Three games later, they lost by 45 points and saw their record fall to 1-and-3.

It's hardly what you expect from Kirkwood, which won the national title in 2017 and finished second last year, but there were signs of hope Friday night at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles blitzed McCook Community College of Nebraska, 97-55, in their home opener in the first round of the Kirkwood Classic.

"It's a step," said KCC Coach Kim Muhl. "It's not a plunge, but it's a step."

Muhl was not happy with his club's energy, effort and execution during the 1-and-3 start, but he saw signs of life against McCook.

"The bottom line is how hard they want to play," he said. "You either get it done or you won't play here very long.

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KCC volleyball makes national semifinals

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team won both of its matches at the NJCAA Division II national tournament Thursday and will be playing in the semifinals Friday night.

Kirkwood (34-8) will face top-seeded Coffeyville (38-3) Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the right to play for the national title on Saturday.

The Eagles, seeded No. 5 in the tournament, rolled by Carl Sandburg, 25-14, 25-18, 25-13, in their first match Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia.

Kirkwood then knocked off No. 4 South Mountain in a five-set thriller, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 15-13, in the quarterfinals with a clutch performance in the fifth and final set.

Alexa Aldrich-Ingram collected 18 kills and five blocks in the 3-0 victory over Carl Sandburg. Haleigh Durnin had 11 kills, Sami Johnson six, Taylor Carey six, Abbi Tunis five and Lauren Keane three.

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Pickens finds new home at Kirkwood

Allante Pickens never planned to become a scientist when he enrolled at Missouri University of Science and Technology last year, but he's obviously a smart guy.

"That was the only scholarship offer I had," he said Wednesday night. "I took the opportunity and I took advantage of it."

Now Pickens is taking advantage of a new opportunity at Kirkwood Community College.

Pickens scored 18 points and steered the fifth-ranked Eagles to an 84-71 victory over Marshalltown Community College in a non-conference game at Johnson Hall.

Pickens averaged 11.1 points at Missouri Science and Technology as a freshman, but the Miners struggled through a 3-23 campaign and he decided to transfer.

Kirkwood recruited him in high school in Chicago, so he contacted KCC Coach Bryan Petersen about the possibility of joining the Eagles. Kirkwood needed a new point guard and Pickens needed a new school.

"This is a great program," said Pickens, who plays a lot bigger than his listed size of 5-foot-8. "I'm having fun. It's the most fun I've had in a long time. It's going to be a great year."

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Clarke bounces Mount Mercy men

DUBUQUE - The Mount Mercy men's basketball team fell behind by 22 points at halftime Wednesday night and lost to Clarke, 87-73, in the Heart of America Conference opener in Dubuque.

Antwain Strong led the Mustangs (2-2, 0-1) with 22 points. Bailey Basala scored 12 points and Mike Evans added 10.

Clarke (2-2, 1-0) saw five players reach double figures, with Darius Lasley leading the way with 17 points. Staci Richardson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Clarke won the battle of the boards, 38-28.

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