DRAGONS RELOAD FOR 2018 VOLLEYBALL SEASON

Blue Dragon head volleyball coach Patrick Hall works with his 2018 team on the first day of fall practice at the Sports Arena. (Steve Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Blue Dragon head volleyball coach Patrick Hall works with his 2018 team on the first day of fall practice at the Sports Arena. (Steve Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

Hutchinson Community College head volleyball coach Patrick Hall is never one to look back.

Starting his seventh season on Wednesday as the leader of Blue Dragon Volleyball, Hall is aware that one of the top setters and outside hitters and five Division I players in total aren't back from Hutchinson's 2017 Region VI championship team.

As practice opened Wednesday morning at the Sports Arena, those facts were a million miles away from Hall as he now looks to mold his new players into another championship contender.

The Blue Dragons finished 27-14 last year. The Dragons were third in the Jayhawk West, but stunned No. 3 Seward County in a sweep on the Saints' home floor to win the Region VI championship – the program's fifth under Hall and 10th since 2004.

The 2018 Blue Dragons have five players returning from last season.

Libero Raychel Reed (Aurora, CO) was a returning starter, who averaged a team-high 4.16 digs per set last season. Defensive specialist Claira Creach (Mission, KS) also saw a lot of action. She averaged 2.27 digs per game.

Setter Cassidy Crites (Claflin, KS) averaged 1.75 set assists and 0.92 kills per set last season. Setter Payton Gawith (El Dorado, KS) averaged 3.26 assists.

Middle Lexi Hogan (Garden City, KS) hit .167 and had 0.92 kills and 0.46 blocks per set.

The Blue Dragons open the season in Roswell, NM, on August 24-25 at the New Mexico Military Classic. The first home match will be August 29 in the Jayhawk West opener against Barton.