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October 5, 2013LADY DRAGONS MOVE INTO FIRST-PLACE TIE WITH SWEEP OF COLBY
The Hutchinson Community College volleyball team moved into a first-place tie in the Jayhawk West on Saturday with a 3-0 sweep of the team it was pursuing, the Colby Trojans.
Freshman Kawehi Granito-Wallace came off the bench late in the first set to provide a huge spark as Hutchinson won its 11th-consecutive match with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-15 victory over the Trojans.
Hutchinson (15-6) and Colby (15-5) are currently tied atop the Jayhawk West standings with 8-1 records. If the Region VI Tournament would start tomorrow, the Lady Dragons would own the head-to-head tie-breaker with Colby based on Saturday's sweep. Colby defeated Hutchinson in five sets on Sept. 4 in Colby. Both teams have five Jayhawk West matches remaining.
Granito-Wallace was inserted into the lineup late in the first set when Colby pulled within 19-18. She immediately made an impact with a kill and double-block with Dragana Micic to push the lead out to three. That was the spark the Lady Dragons needed as they outlasted Colby to win the first set and ultimately swept the previously league-unbeaten Trojans.
Granito-Wallace finished with season highs of six kills on .857 hitting percentage and eight total blocks (2 solo, 6 assists) to lead an improved net presence against Colby. In HCC's decisive third-set victory, Granito-Wallace had three kills, one solo block and three block assists.
All-American Teresa Wade led HCC offensively with eight kills. Micic finished with six kills. Freshman Alex Keller hit .556 with five kills. Freshman Nicole Kinser had three kills.
Colby did out-hit Hutchinson 37-29. But the Lady Dragons had just five attack errors to Colby's 28.
Hutchinson had 12 team blocks to Colby's one. In addition to Granito-Wallace, Keller had four total blocks and Kinser added three blocks.
Defensively, Wade had her 10th match of the season in double figures with a team-high 11 digs. Sophomore Samantha Lackey added nine digs and freshman Rachel Griffit had six digs. Keller had 14 assists and freshman Paige Weidner added nine assists.
Lorena Rosario had 11 kills to lead Colby. Adrianna Sosnowska had 10 kills and Andjela Reljic added eight kills.
The first set was a slugfest, but Hutchinson built an early 11-7 lead after a Wade service ace. A Colby attack error - one of 10 in the first set - upped the Lady Dragon margin to 18-13, but the heavy-hitting Trojans started to pound away. Led by Sosnowska's six first-set kills, Colby went on a 5-1 run to pull within 19-18. Enter Granito-Wallace with her kill and double block with Micic for a 21-18 HCC lead. Sophomore Mariah Dickson had a huge kill to give HCC a 23-20 lead and force a Colby timeout. The Trojans came back with three in a row to tie it, getting their only block of the match to knot the set at 23 and force a Hutchinson timeout. Colby was called for a lift and a net violation on the final two points of the set to give HCC a 25-23 victory.
HCC led 4-1 in the second before Colby started blasting away again. The Trojans earned their first lead of the match at 10-9 on an HCC ball-handling error and led 11-10 on a Sosnowska kill. Colby then committed a service error and attack error that started a 6-1 Hutchinson run. A Micic back-row kill gave Hutch a 17-12 lead and Colby burned a timeout. The Lady Dragons, out-hit 13-8 in the second set, kept Colby at arm's length and scored the final three points of the set on a Colby attack error, double block by Granito-Wallace and Wade and a Granito-Wallace solo stuff on set point.
The Lady Dragons bolted out to a 7-1 lead in the third set with a double of Kinser kills and a Keller kill on a Colby overpass. Colby cut the deficit to five on six occasions after that. Leading 15-10, the Lady Dragons scored five-straight points, taking a 20-10 lead and a 22-11 lead on a Granito-Wallace kill. Colby scored three-straight points to pull within 22-24, but Hutchinson scored 3 of the match's final 4 points, getting a double-block from Granito-Wallace and Kinser on match point.
Hutchinson will have six matches in the upcoming week; two are Jayhawk West matches on the road. On Monday, Hutchinson travels to Cloud County and on Wednesday, the Lady Dragons go to Seward County. Next weekend, HCC will play in the Missouri State-West Plains Tournament where it will once again see Colby in a non-league match. Hutchinson will also play Jefferson College for the second time this season, Wallace State and Missouri-State West Plains.
MATCH NOTES - Hutchinson's 11-match win streak is the longest since a 14-match win streak in 2008. It's the sixth win streak of 10 or more matches since 2004. Teresa Wade moved past Debbie Ohl (2008-09) into seventh place on the HCC career kills list with 631 kills. Ashton Thomas (2002-03) is sixth with 639 kills. Samantha Lackey now has 911 career digs, fifth-most in HCC history. Erika Godbolt is fourth with 918 digs. This is only the fourth match of the season where Hutchinson has had 10 or more blocks. The Lady Dragons limited their unforced errors to just 14, including only five service errors.