Kelsey Mulligan reacts as the Blue Dragon Volleyball team swept No. 6 Indian Hills on Friday in the Midwest Superstore/Blue Dragon Volleyball Classic at the Sports Arena. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Kelsey Mulligan reacts as the Blue Dragon Volleyball team swept No. 6 Indian Hills on Friday in the Midwest Superstore/Blue Dragon Volleyball Classic at the Sports Arena. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

HutchCC Sports Information

The day started for the Hutchinson Community College Volleyball team with sophomore Page Hiebert tying her career high in kills. The day ended with a sweep of the No. 6 team in the nation.

The Blue Dragons had a great start to the 2017 Midwest Superstore/Blue Dragon Volleyball Classic on Friday at the Sports Arena. Hutchinson opened the day with a 3-1 victory over Frank Phillips College, defeating the Plainsmen 25-15, 24-26, 25-15, 25-8.

Then the Blue Dragons then turned in the best defensive performance of the season against No. 6 Indian Hills and defeated the Warriors 25-15, 25-15, 25-23 to close out Day 1 of the Classic.

Winners of four matches in a row, the 12-5 Blue Dragons will face Odessa College at 11 a.m. and No. 2 Iowa Western at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The victory over the No. 6 Warriors is the second time this season that the Blue Dragons have toppled a Top-10 nationally ranked team. Two weeks ago, Hutchinson swept then No. 4 Salt Lake in Twin Falls, Idaho and are now 2-2 against teams ranked in the NJCAA Division I Volleyball rankings.

The Blue Dragons thoroughly dominated the first two sets with a combined two attack errors in that span. Then down 22-21 in the third, Hiebert carried the Dragons with three-straight kills to spark a match-clinching 4-1 rally for a 25-23 victory.

Hiebert led the Blue Dragons with 15 kills on 41 attacks and a .293 hitting percentage against the Warriors. That helped Hutch earn a 44-30 advantage in kills over the high-powered Warriors.

Sophomore setter Katie Jorn set an impressive match with four players garnering eight or more kills.

Sophomore Nina Pevic closed out a terrific Friday with eight kills. Leonie Wienkaemper had eight kills and Tatiana Ndekwe had eight kills.

That offense came via a relentless back row defense. The Dragons several times had multiple diving digs on single rallies that eventually led to Hutchinson points. Freshman libero Raychel Reed had a match-high 20 digs to lead the stellar defensive effort. Sophomore Kelsey Mulligan had a season-high 15 digs. Jorn added nine digs and Hiebert had eight digs.

Hutch had only five total blocks, but got several touches to allow the back row to make plays against Indian Hills' heavy-hitting arsenal. Sophomore Patricia Joseph had four block assists and Pevic added a pair of block assists..

Indian Hills was led by Jessica Silva's match-high 17 kills.

In the opening set, Joseph's two kills and two blocks helped the Blue Dragons race out to an 11-3 lead. Hutch never led Indian Hills get on a run. Only once in 14 opportunities did Hutch fail to side out on the Warriors serve.

Three-straight Hiebert kills in the second – one was set up by an incredible Mulligan diving dig – helped the Dragons explode to an 17-6 lead in the second set. Hiebert and Wienkaemper had five kills each in the second set as the Dragons cruised to a second-straight 11-point victory.

Indian Hills had opportunities to pull away in the third set, but the Blue Dragon defense refused to let that happen. The Dragons trailed by two, but went on a 5-1 run to take an 10-8 lead after a Claira Creach ace. The teams traded 3-0 runs and Hutch led 13-11 before the Warriors tied it at 13. A Pevic kill gave the Dragons a 17-14 lead and that lead grew to 20-16 after a Warrior attack error. Indian Hills went on a 6-1 run to lead 22-21 before Hiebert took over with three-straight kills. IHCC was called for a double contact on match point.

Hiebert matched her career high with 19 kills on .366 hitting to lead the Blue Dragons to a four-set victory in the Classic opener for both teams. Hiebert posted a double-double with 14 digs with two blocks.

Wienkaemper had nine kills and Pevic had eight kills as Jorn racked up a career-high 40 assists.

Hutchinson tallied 49 kills to Frank Phillips' 31. The Dragons had a 7-2 block advantage.

Reed finished with 16 digs and Mulligan added 10.

The Blue Dragons took advantage of seven FPC attack errors and started fast in building a 16-5 lead in the opening set. Joseph had three blocks and two kills, while Pevic added four kills in the set to get a 10-point opening set victory.

Hutch struggled in the second set with two attack errors, three ball-handling errors and two more service errors. Still Hutch had a 24-22 lead, but Frank Phillips rallied with a 4-0 run to close the set.

Hiebert racked up seven kills in the third set alone. A 5-1 run helped the Dragons build a 16-9 lead after a Jorn kill. FPC went on a 4-1 run to pull within 18-14, but the Dragons finished off the set with a 7-1 run. Hutch out-hit Frank Phillips 16-7 in the third set.

Hutchinson had two huge fourth-set runs. The Dragons scored the first eight points of the set. Frank Phillips scored 6 of the next 8 before Hutch scored 14 unanswered points to lead 24-6. Hutchinson had 10 kills, three aces and two blocks and held Frank Phillips to two kills and one block in the fourth set.