Blue Dragon Volleyball lost a four-set match to No. 6 Seward County on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. (Allie Schweizer/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Blue Dragon Volleyball lost a four-set match to No. 6 Seward County on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. (Allie Schweizer/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

HutchCC Sports Information

The Hutchinson Community College volleyball team struggled all match long on Wednesday at the Sports Arena and fell in four sets to No. 6 Seward County in a pivotal Jayhawk West matchup.

Seward County defeated Hutchinson 25-20, 21-25, 26-24, 25-13 to take firm control of the Jayhawk West at 8-0 in league play and 18-1 overall. The Blue Dragons fall to 14-7 overall and 7-2 in league play heading into this weekend's TJC Invitational in Tyler, Texas.

Hutchinson was playing its ninth match in the last 12 days.

Neither team played crisply on Wednesday with the Blue Dragons racking up 19 attack errors and eight service errors. Seward County had 22 attack errors and 13 service errors.

The Saints used balance with five players totaling seven or more kills to outhit the Blue Dragons 55-38 and out-block Hutchinson 10-4.

Sophomore Tatyana Ndekwe hit .471 to lead the Blue Dragons with nine kills on 17 attacks. Sophomores Nina Pevic and Page Hiebert had eight kills each. Pevic hit .240 and Hiebert hit .048.

Sophomore Katie Jorn and freshman Leonie Wienkaemper had five kills each.

Jorn finished with her third double-double of the season with 28 assists and 12 digs.

Sophomore Kelsey Mulligan led the Dragons with 18 digs and two aces. Freshman Raychel Reed had 14 digs and freshman Claira Creach had seven.

Seward County was led by Mariana Nascimento's 15 kills. Briana Diamond had 12 kills.

Tied at 6-all in the first, Seward County used a 3-0 run to create some distance with the Blue Dragons. The deficit grew to 16-11 before the Blue Dragons started chipping away. A Jorn/Patricia Joseph double block pulled the Dragons within 19-17. A service error stopped the Dragon momentum and the Saints closed the set on two Nascimento kills.

Hutch jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second, only to see the Saints reel off five in a row to lead 7-6. Tied at 11, a Hiebert kill started a 3-0 run capped by a Jorn setter dump for a 14-11 lead. From there, the Blue Dragons were able to get key sideouts when needed. Seward County eventually tied the set at 19, but Wienkaemper started a set-clinching 5-2 run. Ndekwe was key down the stretch with two kills and a double-block with Jorn. A Saint attack error closed out the set and tied the match at 1-1.

With the third set tied at 15, a Wienkaemper kill gave Hutch a one-point lead. Another service error slowed the Dragon march and sparked 9-4 run that gave Seward County a 24-22 lead after a Nascimento kill. Ndekwe again stepped up with a kill and block to tie the set at 24. Seward scored the final two points of the set on a Hutch attack error and a kill to take a 2-1 lead.

The key rally of the fourth set came with the Saints leading 10-8. The long rally featured several incredible defensive saves by each team, but ultimately ended on a Luz Sierra solo block. From that point, the Saints outscored the Blue Dragons 13-4. Seward County had 13 kills and five blocks in the fourth set. Hutchinson had just six kills and one block.

Hutchinson opens the TJC Classic in Tyler at 10 a.m. on Friday with Monroe college and then Tyler at Noon. On Saturday, the Blue Dragons will play Blinn at 11 a.m. and Navarro at 3 p.m.