Battling multiple unforced errors, trailing two sets to one and an opponent looking for a Top 4 conference finish of its own, the Hutchinson Community College volleyball team rallied to defeat Garden City in five sets on Thursday night at the Sports Arena to clinch a tie for the Jayhawk Conference Western Division championship.
The Lady Dragons had one of their more sluggish offensive and passing matches, but still managed to rally past the Broncbusters 25-15, 21-25, 23-25, 25-13, 15-10 on Sophomore Night.
Hutchinson (12-1 Jayhawk West) clinched at least a tie for HCC’s first Jayhawk West title since 2009. The Lady Dragons can win the championship outright on Tuesday night in a 6:30 p.m. match at Barton Community College in Great Bend.
With the victory, the Lady Dragons (20-6) reached the 20-victory plateau for the first time since 2009. Now 3-4 in five-set matches, the Lady Dragons for the first time this season rallied to win a match after trailing 2-1 in a match.
HCC had 13 unforced errors in the second set and saw Garden City pound away in the third set as the Busters (19-16, 5-7) out-hit the Lady Dragons 27-18 in the second and third sets.
The Lady Dragons turned the tables, holding Garden City to just six kills while the Busters had 11 attack errors over the final two sets.
Freshman Teresa Wade posted her 10th double-double of the season with 14 kills and 19 digs.
Sophomore Jade Nelson had nine kills and four total blocks. Sophomore Shayne Haley finished with seven kills. Sophomore Gabby Rushton finished with five kills and four blocks. Freshman Mariah Dickson had five kills. Freshman Megan Heier added five total blocks.
Sophomore setter Scout Heizer had 22 assists and nine digs. Sophomore setter Ashlyn Westerman had her fifth double-double of the season with 12 assists and 11 digs. Freshman libero Samantha Lackey had 21 digs.
Taylor Winchester led Garden City with 15 kills, Natalia Perreria had 13 kills.
A double block by Heier and Dickson capped off a 7-2 run that gave Hutchinson a 9-5 lead in the opening set. Leading 15-11, HCC reeled off five straight to lead 21-12 after a Lackey kill. Wade had a pair of kills late, the second on match point to take the set. HCC had 13 kills and only one attack error in the first set.
The Lady Dragons started having trouble dealing with Garden’s 1-2 punch of Winchester and Perreria. They combined for eight kills as HCC compounded that with five attack errors and four services errors in the second set. Hutchinson led 10-5, but the Busters rallied to tie the set at 10-all with a 5-0 run. Kills by Haley, Heier and a Westerman service ace gave HCC an 18-17 lead, but Garden City reeled off five straight to take control of the set. The Busters closed the second set on an 8-3 run.
With momentum on its side of the net, Garden City went on an early 7-1 run to lead 12-8 to force a Lady Dragon timeout. A Perreria kill on an HCC overpass boosted the Buster lead to 20-13. Garden City then had problems closing out the set. Leading 22-17, five-straight unforced Buster errors helped Hutchinson tie the set at 22-22. But back-to-back kills by Winchester gave Garden City a 24-22 lead and two points later Pereira’s kill pushed the Lady Dragons to the brink of defeat.
After falling behind 2-0 in the fourth, HCC went on a 12-1 run to take control of the fourth set. Another 4-0 run pushed the margin to 17-7. Garden City helped the Lady Dragon cause with only two kills and six attack errors. Taylor Archer’s service ace on set point forced the match to a decisive five set.
Garden City scored the first two points of the fifth set, but HCC then reeled off eight in a row to take charge. Haley had two kills and Rushton had a solo stuff and a kill during the run. Garden City pulled within 10-6, but kills by Nelson and Dickson upped the lead to 12-6 and two kills by Wade in the final three points finished off the Busters.
(HCC Sports Information)