Sophomore middle blocker Gabby Rushton tied a career high with a .667 hitting percentage to lead the Jayhawk West first-place Hutchinson Community College volleyball team to a quick 3-0 conference week of Cloud County on Tuesday night at the Sports Arena.
The Lady Dragons needed just 54 minutes to sweep past the Thunderbirds 25-8, 25-13, 25-16.
Rushton led the Lady Dragons (19-6, 11-1 Jayhawk West) with 10 kills on 12 attacks and had only two errors to lead a Hutchinson attack that out-hit Cloud County 35-17. Rushton added a pair of solo stuff blocks.
HCC had 35 kills and only six attack errors, while Cloud County had only 17 kills and 16 attack errors with 11 services aces.
Sophomore Jade Nelson had five kills, while sophomores Shayne Haley, Emily Oberlin and Kayla Karmazyn had four kills each. Ten different HCC players had at least one kills for HCC.
Sophomore setter Scout Heizer had 15 assists, one kill and three service aces. Sophomore setter Ashlyn Westerman had 14 assists. Freshman Megan Heier had a team-high three total blocks. Freshman libero Samantha Lackey had a team-high 13 digs. Freshman defensive specialist Taylor Karcher had 11 digs.
Erin Terrell had four kills and a service ace to lead the Thunderbirds (4-12, 1-10).
Back-to-back double blocks by first Heier and Mariah Dickson and Heier and Teresa Wade capped a 5-0 run to open a 9-4 Lady Dragon lead. That initial run turned into a 9-1 stretch and HCC led 15-5 after an Oberlin service ace. Leading 18-8, HCC reeled off seven in a role to take the set, the final two points coming on kills by Nelson and Heizer. HCC out-hit Cloud County 11-3 in the opening set.
Leading 11-7 in the second set, four straight by HCC – Lackey had her career-high second kill of the match in the run – upped the margin to eight. Leading 19-12, the Lady Dragons closed out the set on a 6-1 run; getting back-to-back aces by Heizer and a Nelson kill to give Hutchinson a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Thunderbirds hung tough in a sloppily played third set, taking two one-point leads at 4-3 and 6-5. HCC led 14-13 when it started to pull away. A Karmazyn kill and double block by Oberlin and Heier upped the lead to 16-13. Then leading 18-16, the Lady Dragons scored the final seven points of the match. Rushton had a kill and finished the match with a solo stuff block.
The Lady Dragons will play their final regular-season home match on Thursday when Garden City comes to the Sports Arena for a 6:30 p.m. match. The seven Lady Dragon sophomores will be honored before the match.
(HCC Sports Information)