Patricia Joseph swings away during the second set of Friday's NJCAA Tournament consolation match with St. Petersburg. The Blue Dragons lost 3-1. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Patricia Joseph swings away during the second set of Friday's NJCAA Tournament consolation match with St. Petersburg. The Blue Dragons lost 3-1. (Joel Powers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

It just wasn't happening for the Hutchinson Community College Volleyball team this week at the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championships.

For the second-straight day, the Blue Dragons faced an uphill battle and a 1-2 punch from the opposing offense that proved too much.

Hutchinson's season ended with a four-set loss to St. Petersburg College (20-25, 23-25, 25-16, 20-25) in a consolation round match on Friday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. The Region VI champion Blue Dragons end their season at 27-14.

Despite out-blocking and out-digging the Titans, the Blue Dragons were limited to .140 hitting to St. Petersburg's .215 attack percentage.

The Dragons couldn't consistently stop the 1-2 punch of St. Petersburg's Ana Carolina Costa and Beatriz Viera, who combined for 39 kills. The Dragons had 42 kills as a team.

Page Hiebert closed out her Blue Dragon career with a team-high 13 kills on 51 swings and an attack percentage of .078. Hiebert added seven digs. Hiebert closes her Blue Dragon career ranked third in career kills with 878 career kills. Her 579 single-season kills were the third most in team history.

Nina Pevic closed a solid tournament with 10 kills on .318 hitting. Pevic hit .474 for the tournament with 21 total kills.

Tatyana Ndekwe finished with six kills, while Patricia Joseph and Leonie Wienkaemper had five each.

The Blue Dragons had a 9-4 team block advantage. Joseph had five total blocks, including one solo block. Katie Jorn had four block assists.

Hutchinson tallied 62 total digs to the Titans' 59. Kelsey Mulligan led with 16 digs. Claira Creach added 13 and Raychel Reed had 11.

Jorn had 31 assists, three kills and nine digs. Jorn finishes her Blue Dragon career with 1,732 career set assists. That's fifth all-time in Blue Dragon history.

Costa had 24 kills on 61 attacks and Viera had 15 to lead St. Petersburg.

For the second-straight match, the Blue Dragons' offense got off to a sluggish start. Hitting negative for most of the first set, Hutch hit just .062 after a late surge in the opening set. Hutch found itself down by as many as nine points at 17-9 after back-to-back attack errors A Jorn kill started a 6-2 run that was capped by a Ndekwe/Wienkaemper double block and the Dragons trailed 19-14. Hutch got it down to four points after a Joseph kills on an overpass cut the lead to 24-20. The Titans closed out the first set on the next rally.

The Dragons got off to a much-better offensive start and led 14-10 after a Pevic/Joseph double block. St. Petersburg rallied with five-straight points to take the lead, which eventually grew to 23 19. A Hiebert kill cut the led to 23-22, but the Titans hit .313 in the second set and pulled the set out.

Hutch opened the third set on a 7-1 run and were never threatened. The Dragons hit .219 to the Titans' .049 in the set. A Joseph kill made it 11-4. Wienkaemper had back-to-back kills to complete a 4-0 run to build a 15-5 lead. At 20-14, Joseph figured in on three-straight points, getting a solo block to make it 23-14. St. Pete ended the set on a service error.

The Dragons jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth set on a Nina Pevic kill. Another Pevic kill ended a 4-0 Titan run to make it 11-9. From that point, St. Petersburg slowing took over the set with the 1-2 punch of Costa and Viera, who had a run of three-straight kills to tie the set at 13. Down 16-13, kills from Wienkaemper and Hiebert pulled the Dragons within 16-15, but the Titans pulled away with a 5-1 run that Hutch couldn't recover from.