HILLSBORO, Mo. – For only the fourth time in team history, the Hutchison Community College volleyball team rallied from down two sets to win a match and the 17th-ranked Lady Dragons did so on Saturday against No. 12 Missouri State University-West Plains at the Jefferson College Tournament.
In the final regular-season match of 2012, the Lady Dragons picked up a huge wave of momentum with a 23-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-21, 19-17 victory over West Plains for HCC’s third victory over a ranked team and fourth five-set victory of the season.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, HCC played well but dropped a 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 decision to No. 4 Iowa Western. The Lady Dragons enter the postseason with a 23-8 record.
HCC other comebacks from two sets down have all come against nationally ranked teams. The Lady Dragons have rallied to be a pair of ranked Barton teams and College of Southern Idaho.
Hutchinson finished the Jefferson Tournament with a 2-2 record.
WEST PLAINS RECAP
When the Lady Dragons fell down 0-2, HCC had to rally from letting a 17-5 lead in the second set slip away. But rally they did as the Lady Dragons took the third and fourth sets to force a five-set match for the eighth time this season.
Hutchinson had leads of 8-5, 10-7 and 14-13. At match point, Scout Heizer served wide. West Plains had a pair of match points, but squandered them. The Lady Dragons earned a second match point at 18-17 and the West Plains setter was called for double contact on a tough pass to end the match.
HCC head coach Patrick Hall made a change on Saturday, going to a 5-1 offense to try and jumpstart a slumbering offense. The move worked in both matches as four players had at least seven kills. As a team, the Lady Dragons had a season-high 18 services aces and 13 blocks.
Sophomore setter Scout Heizer triggered the offense, producing a career-high 52 digs, which tied for the 11th most in team history. Heizer also had a career-high seven service aces and 11 digs to complete her seventh double-double of the season.
Freshman Teresa Wade had a career-high 24 kills against West Plains. Sophomore Jade Nelson had 11 kills, while freshman Megan Heier had eight kills and sophomore Gabby Rushton had seven kills and six blocks.
Freshman libero Samantha Lackey had 12 digs and a career-high four ace serves. Sophomore Ashlyn Westerman had three service aces.
Hutchinson hasn’t rallied from two sets down to win a match since Nov. 2, 2009 at Barton.
IOWA WESTERN RECAP
The Lady Dragons pushed the fourth-ranked Reivers hard in the first two sets. HCC was tied in both the first and second sets with IWCC at 20-all before the Reivers pulled away.
Wade led the Lady Dragons with 13 kills and eight digs. Rushton was next with five kills.
Lackey had 12 digs and freshman Helena Lukovic had a career-high 10 digs.
Running the 5-1 against Iowa Western had 22 assists. Westerman finished with eight digs.
The Lady Dragons had 10 blocks and only one service ace.
Hutchinson, the No. 1 seed for the Region VI Tournament will play host to eighth-seed Cloud County at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament at the Sports Arena.
(HCC Sports Information)