GARDEN CITY – The Hutchinson Community College volleyball team hit better than .300 for the sixth time this season and moved to 5-0 in Jayhawk Conference play for the first time since 2008 with a 3-0 league sweep at Garden City on Wednesday night.
Hitting better than .300 for a second-straight match, the 19th-ranked Lady Dragons defeated the Broncbusters 25-28, 25-19, 25-15.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, HCC found out it cracked the NJCAA Division I Top 20. The nerves of being a ranked team for the first time since 2009 didn’t show as the Lady Dragons hit .314 in the opening set and closed the match hitting a crisp .455.
Hutchinson (10-3) had 43 kills and only 12 attack errors with eight team blocks and 44 digs. Garden City (11-12, 1-4) 30 kills and three team blocks.
Freshman Teresa Wade led all hitters with 11 kills, hitting .360 with seven digs. Sophomore Jade Nelson had 10 kills, hitting .273.
Sophomore middle Gabby Rushton had a solid all-round match with seven hitting and a .385 hitting percentage. She also tied a season-high five total blocks (5 block assists). Sophomore Shayne Haley had six kills.
Sophomore setter Scout Heizer had 20 assists to go with two service aces, five digs and two kills. Sophomore Ashlyn Westerman added 16 assists and six digs.
Freshman libero Samantha Lackey had a team-high 12 digs and freshman Taylor Karcher added 10.
Josi Stiel led Garden City with eight kills. Paula Gonzalez and Natalia Parreira had six kills each.
Hutchinson had first-set leads of 8-3, 15-7 and 17-9. The Busters went on a 6-0 run to pull within 17-15, but a Wade back-row kill stopped the run and sparked a strong finishing kick by HCC. Wade had three kills and Rushton had two during a finishing 8-3 run. HCC had 15 kills and only four errors.
The second set was very similar to the first. Consecutive kills by Nelson, Haley and Mariah Dickson pushed Hutchinson to a 17-11 lead. Garden City scored three straight, but a Wade back-row kill ended the run. At 18-15, HCC created some distance with a 5-0 run in two Haley kills and a double block by Rushton and sophomore Kayla Karmazyn. A Haley kill brought HCC to 24-16 before Garden City scored three in a row, but a Nelson blast down the middle finished off the set. HCC had its worst hitting percentage of the match in the second at .244 (15 kills, 5 errors, 41 attacks).
The Lady Dragons scored the first five points of the third set, but the Busters got back to within two points at 705, 8-6, 9-7 and 14-12. Hutchinson pulled away with a 4-0 run on a kill from Nelson and two from Karmazyn to go up 18-12. HCC sided out on each of Garden City’s four serves after that. A Nelson kill made it 19-13. A Megan Heier/Nelson double block made it 21-14 and a Rushton kill brought HCC to 24-15. The Busters put an attack into the net to close out the match.
The Lady Dragons will play host to the Lady Dragon Volleyball Classic on Friday and Saturday at the Sports Arena before playing host to Barton in a Jayhawk West contest at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
MATCH NOTES – This was Teresa Wade’s seventh match with double-figure kills. … This was Jade Nelson’s sixth match with double-figure kills. … Taylor Karcher has four-straight matches with 10 or more digs. … Samantha Lackey posted her seventh-straight match with double-figure digs. It was her team-high 11th of the season. … This was the second time this season that HCC did not allow a service ace. The other match was against Colby. … HCC is hitting .278 in five conference matches.
(HCC Sports Information)