Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Barton Cougars scored the first four points of Wednesday's Jayhawk West match against the No. 17-ranked Hutchinson Community College volleyball team and the Blue Dragon faithful was a bit restless in the 2018 home opener at the Sports Arena.
Then came the next 16 rallies … a run of 16-straight Hutchinson points. From there, the Blue Dragons went on to sweep Barton 25-18, 25-17, 25-15.
Hutchinson captured its 21st-consecutive home opener and improves to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Jayhawk West. Barton falls to 1-5 and 1-1.
The Blue Dragons staggered Barton with that 16-point run in the first set. That run is the second-longest run of points for Hutchinson in the rally score era (2001). The record was an 18-point run by the 2004 Blue Dragons against Northwest-Shoals in the second set of the opening-round of the NJCAA Tournament.
Freshman Eden Hiebert's big night was ignited in that opening-set surge. Hiebert had five kills and four block assists while sophomore Raychel Reed, who served the run, had four aces. Hiebert teamed up with Tara Davis and Elena Takova twice for block assists during the run.
Hiebert had a tremendous home debut with 15 kills on .333 hitting to lead the Blue Dragons. She finished with six kills in the first set and seven more in the second. She finished the match with 15 kills on 39 attacks and only two errors.
Sophomore Lexi Hogan had a career-best 10 kills on 23 attacks and a .292 attack percentage. Takova had eight kills on .148 hitting.
Reed had a match-high 24 digs and a career-high five ace serves. Sophomore defensive specialist Claira Creach finished with a career-high 19 digs.
The Blue Dragons had 41 kills and just 10 attack errors. Barton had 29 kills on 20 attack errors. The Dragons were out-blocked 7-6, but had a season-high nine ace serves.
Miglė Mazurkevičiūtė had seven kills to lead the Cougars. Laine Alves and Rayanne de Oliverra had six kills each. De Oliveira also had four ace serves.
First set: The Blue Dragons out-hit Barton 13-7 in the opening set. Back-to-back aces from Alves gave Barton a 4-0 lead, but a Hiebert kill started the 16-0 run that was capped by another Hiebert kill. Back-to-back Takova kills boosted Hutch's lead to 22-12, but Barton then reeled off six in a row to make things interesting. A double block by Ariana Taylor and Mackenzie Pease pulled Barton within 22-18. The Dragons closed out the set with a Takova kill, Barton attack error and Reed's fifth ace of the set. Takova had four kills in the opening set.
Second set: While not as dramatic as its first-set scoring spree, Hutchinson used an early 12-0 run to erase a 3-1 deficit. Hiebert again was at the center of the uprising with six kills in Gawith's serving run. She had three-straight kills to make it 12-3 and a Barton hitting error closed the run at 13-3. The Cougars then went on a 6-3 run, but that was nixed by a Lauren Willson kill and Crites ace, which made it 18-9. A Takova kill made it 21-11. Barton scored 6 of the next 9 points to pull within 24-17, but a Tara Davis kill on set point No. 4 closed the set for Hutch. Hiebert had seven kills in the set and Hogan added five as Hutch had 16 kills to Barton's 9.
Third set: The third set was much more balanced offensively for the Dragons with no Hutch player tallying more than three in the final set. Reed's fifth ace of the match gave the Dragons a 5-1 lead. That lead crew to 11-5 on a Barton setting error, but the Cougars scored three straight to pull within 11-8. A 5-1 Dragon run capped off by a double block from Takova and Davis upped the margin to 17-10. At 19-14, the Dragons scored six of the match's final seven points to close out the set and the match. Hiebert's 15th kill of the match came on match point.
The Blue Dragons travel to Pratt on Monday at 6:30 p.m. before returning to the Sports Arena to play No. 9 Seward County next Wednesday.