BLUE DRAGONS MAKE FINAL PREP FOR NATIONALS

Blue Dragon Coach Patrick Hall instructs his team during Hutch's practice session at the Sports Arena on Wednesday for the 2017 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Blue Dragon Coach Patrick Hall instructs his team during Hutch's practice session at the Sports Arena on Wednesday for the 2017 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
BLUE DRAGON VOLLEYBALL

No. 15 Hutchinson (27-12) at No. 2 Iowa Western (37-1)
NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship Opening Round

When: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where: Hutchinson Sports Arena

Match time: 11 a.m. – Court 2 (east court)

Live Video: NJCAATV.com

Twitter: @bluedragonsport

Tournament Web Site: www.njcaavb1.com

BLUE DRAGON MATCH NOTES (PDF Format)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

The Hutchinson Community College Volleyball Team seemed right at home on Wednesday during their practice session for the 2017 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.

That's because the Blue Dragons are at home – at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. Hutchinson is the host city of the Division I Championships for the next three seasons.

The 15th-seeded Blue Dragons (27-12) will take on No. 2 seed Iowa Western (37-1) at 11 a.m. on Thursday in an opening round match on Court 2, which is the East Court.

The Hutchinson/Iowa Western winner will take on the Tyler/St. Petersburg winner at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the quarterfinals. The losers of those two matches fall to the consolation bracket and will plan an elimination game at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The Blue Dragons make their 10th NJCAA Tournament appearance in team history. The Blue Dragons are the No. 15 seed in the 16-team field, which ties for the program's lowest national seed in program history.

The Dragons will try to snap a six-match losing streak in national tournament opening-round matches. The last time Hutchinson won an opening round match at nationals was 2006 when the 12th-seeded Blue Dragons knocked off No. 5 seed Miami-Dade in a five-set classic in West Plains, Missouri.

In Hutchinson's last trip to nationals in 2015, the Blue Dragons lost in three sets to Iowa Western, but finished with three-straight victories to place ninth. That was the program's first national placing since 2009 and sixth overall.

The Blue Dragons have played a tough schedule in 2017 with matches against 10 nationally ranked teams. The Dragons went 3-7 in those matches with victories over No. 4 Salt Lake (3-0), No. 6 Indian Hills (3-0) and No. 3 Seward County (3-0).

The Blue Dragons have met seven teams in the 2017 tournament field - Eastern Arizona (loss, 3 sets), New Mexico Military (loss, 4 sets), Tyler (1-1 - win, 4 sets; loss, 5 sets) Iowa Western (loss, 5 sets), Panola College (loss, 3 sets), Monroe College (win, 3 sets) and Southern Idaho (loss, 3 sets).

The five-set loss to Iowa Western (22-25, 27-25, 14-25, 25-23, 15-10) came on September 13 at the Sports Arena, but over on the West court. The only loss Iowa Western suffered in 2017 came on the Arena's East court, a five-set loss to Navarro College.