Hutchinson (4-2, 2-0) vs. Seward County (4-7, 2-0)
When: Saturday, September 8, 2012
At: Hutchinson Sports Arena
First Serve: 2 p.m.
Videostream: Blue Dragon Sports Network (video only), 1:50 p.m.
Follow the match on Twitter
While the Jayhawk West cannot be won on Saturday, the winner of the day's key league matchup will have the early inside track to the title when Hutchinson plays host to Seward County at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson and Seward County are the two remaining unbeaten teams in the Jayhawk West through two rounds of league play. The Lady Dragons have swept Colby and Pratt, while the Saints have taken care of Barton and Colby, both in sweeps.
Last season, these two teams put on some extraordinary drama in three matches. Seward County defeated HCC in five thrilling sets at Liberal. The Lady Dragons turned the table with a hard-fought four-set victory at the Arena. At Region VI, though, the Saints rallied from two sets down to eliminate HCC in the loser's bracket final.
This season, Hutchinson off to a 4-2 start, while Seward County is at 4-7 overall and has fallen out of the NJCAA poll. The Saints are 2-6 in non-league matches.
The Lady Dragons will open a busy stretch where they will play 13 matches in the next 21 days, which includes a trip to Sterling, Colo., for a tournament and the Lady Dragon Classic on Sept. 21-22.
The rematch with Seward County will be Oct. 10 in Liberal.
Noting The Lady Dragons
+ Hutchinson enters play on Saturday hitting .279 as a team. In two Jayhawk West matches, the Lady Dragons are hitting .281.
+ HCC has three players hitting better than .300 entering the weekend. Sophomore Jade Nelson is ninth in the nation in hitting percentage at .400. Sophomore Gabby Rushton is hitting .362 and freshman Teresa Wade is hitting .315.
+ Sophomore setter Ashlyn Westerman had 27 assists and a career-high three kills in running a 5-1 for the first time on Wednesday vs. Pratt. Scout Heizer didn't play (illness).
+ Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Hutchinson has now played in 21 five-set matches. HCC's record in those matches is 8-13, including 0-2 this season.
+ In 2011, the Lady Dragons were quite used to playing five-set matches. The Lady Dragons were involved in 12 matches that went the distance, going 5-7 in those matches.
+ Jade Nelson ranks 35th in kills per set at 2.64. Teresa Wade is right behind at 2.62 and sophomore Shayne Haley is at 2.05 kills per set.
+ HCC's 6-2 offense is being run by a pair of sophomore setters. Scout Heizer is averaging 5.63 set assists per set by Ashlyn Westerman is averaging 4.77. HCC is averaging 10.2 assists as a team.
+ Freshman Samantha Lackey leads HCC in the back row at 3.64 digs per set, which ranks 32nd in the NJCAA. HCC ranks 21st in the nation in digs at 13.77 per set. Freshman Taylor Karcher is averaging 2.23 digs per set.
+ HCC is blocking at 2.5 blocks per set as a team. Gabby Rushton and Megan Heier are at 0.86 blocks per set to lead the team. Both have 19 total blocks. Rushton has a team-high six solo stuffs.
+ Hutchinson has 39 total service aces, an average of 1.77 per set. Ashlyn Westerman has a team-high 12 aces.
Scouting Seward County
+ While going 2-0 in Jayhawk West Play, Seward County is just 1-6 in non-league matches. Seward County went 0-4 at New Mexico, but own non-conference victories over Richland College and Clarendon College.
+ The Saints started the season ranked No. 14 in the preseason NJCAA poll, but have fallen out of the rankings this week.
+ Seward County is hitting .175 as a team and just short of 10 kills per set. The Saints hit a season-high .310 vs. Richland.
+ Sophomore middle Bailey McFerren leads Seward County offensively with a .343 hitting percentage and 2.44 kills per set. She has a season-high 14 kills and has reached double figures in kills five times.
+ Settler Alyssa Olson is averaging 7.06 assists overall and 8.0 assists in conference play. She had 32 in a five-set loss to Northern Oklahoma-Enid.
+ The Saints average 2.19 blocks per set. Freshman middle Morgan Riley averages 1.0 blocks and McFerren averages 0.94 blocks per set.
(HCC Sports Information)