GREAT BEND – Freshmen Teresa Wade and Mariah Dickson both posted career-high kill totals as the Hutchinson Community College volleyball team clinched the 2012 Jayhawk West championship with a 3-1 victory at Barton on Tuesday night at the Barton Gym.
HCC had team season highs of 60 kills and 16 team blocks in a 25-19, 28-26, 24-26, 25-13 victory over the Cougars to win the program’s fifth conference title and the first since 2009.
The Lady Dragons (21-6, 13-1 Jayhawk West) will be the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming Region VI Tournament, which for Hutchinson begins next Wednesday at the Sports Arena. Hutchinson will play host to Cloud County at 6:30 p.m. for an opportunity to advance to the Region VI Final Four in Wichita Nov. 3-4.
Wade, HCC’s leading hitter, had 19 kills on Tuesday night including five in a dominant fourth set. She also had five digs and one block.
Dickson had her best match of the season with highs of 11 kills and four blocks. Dickson had six kills in the fourth set alone.
Sophomore Gabby Rushton finished with eight kills, while sophomores Jade Nelson and Shayne Haley had six and five kills, respectively.
Rushton led an impressive performance at the net for Hutchinson with 11 total blocks (1 solo, 10 assist). Haley had a season-high six blocks. Freshman Megan Heier added four blocks.
Sophomore Ashlyn Westerman had 25 assists, while sophomore Scout Heizer had 21 assists and two ace serves. Heizer added a career-high four kills. Freshman libero Samantha Lackey had 25 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Taylor Karcher had 10 digs.
McKenzie Orchard led the Cougars (12-17, 9-4) with 11 kills and four blocks. Jori Mote had 10 kills and Taylor Littleton added nine kills.
There were four lead changes in the first 14 points and Barton built an early 10-7 lead. The Lady Dragons scored five straight to build a 12-10 lead after a double block by Rushton and Nelson. Tied at 16-all, HCC got kills from Haley, Wade and Dickson during a 4-1 run to build a 20-17 lead. The Cougars pulled within 20-19 and the Lady Dragons scored the final five points, getting a Wade will, a Ruston./Nelson double block and Heizer service ace along the way to claim the first set.
HCC started the second set with a 5-2 lead, but a 6-2 Barton run gave the Cougars an 8-7 lead. Wade had three kills during a 6-0 run to lead 13-8 and force Barton to call a timeout. The Cougars then scored five straight to tie the set at 13-all. A Dickson kill later gave HCC a 22-18 lead, but the Cougars battled back behind Mote, who had five kills in the second set. Mote’s kill pulled Barton within 23-22, but a Rushton kill gave Hutch two set points. Barton erased both set points and had one of its own after a Hutch attack error. Tied at 26-all, Heizer scored on a setter dump and then HCC finished off the set with a double block by Heier and Haley.
The fourth set featured only two lead changes but there were 21 ties in the set. An early three-point run by the Cougars was the largest of the set for either team and it gave Barton a 7-4 lead. HCC battled back and finally took a 17-16 lead on a Heier service ace. From that point, there were 13-straight sideouts and the Cougars had a set point at 24-23. Dickson prolonged the set for HCC with a solo block, but Barton scored the next two points to send the match to the fourth set.
Neither team backed down early in the fourth set and HCC slowly built a 10-9 lead. Back-to-back kills by Dickson was part of a 4-0 run that opened a late fourth set Hutchinson surge. The run grew to 8-1 on a Dickson kill after an over dig, a Wade kill and a Haley ace serve. The lead grew to 10 points at 21-11 after a Wade kill and a Ruston/Dickson double block. HCC scored the final four points of the set to close out the match.
The Lady Dragons will play Jefferson College, Indian Hills, Iowa Western and Missouri State-West Plains this weekend in the Jefferson College Tournament in Hillsboro, Mo., to close out the 2012 regular season.
MATCH NOTES – HCC head coach Patrick Hall won his third-straight Jayhawk West championship. He won the 2010 title with Pratt and last season with Barton. … The Lady Dragons are 7-2 in road games. … Samantha Lackey posted her seventh match of 20 or more digs and her fourth of 25 or more digs.
(HCC Sports Information)