Cassidy Crites had her 10th double-double of the season as the Blue Dragon Volleyball Team swept Butler 3-0 on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Cassidy Crites had her 10th double-double of the season as the Blue Dragon Volleyball Team swept Butler 3-0 on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

Battling for one of the two remaining home matches for the upcoming Region VI Tournament, the Hutchinson Community College volleyball team had good news from near and far on Wednesday night.

At the Sports Arena, the Blue Dragons swept Butler 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 in a battle of a pair of teams tied for third in the Jayhawk West entering the match. Also on Wednesday, Barton – the other team in the battle for the two home spots – lost at Colby in four sets.

Now 15-14 overall, the Blue Dragons are 9-4 in the Jayhawk West, one game ahead of Butler at 8-5. The Blue Dragons also own the head-to-head tie-breaker with Butler by sweeping the season series. Barton, Hutchinson's Monday opponent in Great Bend, is now 7-5 in the league.

The Blue Dragons travel to Dodge City on Friday and Barton on Monday before closing the regular season with a home match against Independence next Wednesday.

After a fairly tight opening set, the Blue Dragons used two long runs late in the second and third sets to finish the sweep. Leading 16-14 in the first, the Dragons reeled off six points in a row to build a seven-point lead and win the set 25-19. Tied at 12 in the second, the Dragons went on a 13-3 run over the final 16 rallies to pull away for a 25-15 win. Tied at 9-all in the fourth, Hutch exploded for a 16-5 run for a 25-14 win.

The Blue Dragons had a balanced offensive attack with eight kills each from freshman Eden Hiebert and sophomore Elena Takova and seven kills from sophomore Lexi Hogan. Hiebert hit .312 and Takova hit .241

Sophomore setter Cassidy Crites posted her 10th double-double of the season with 15 assists and 12 digs to go with five kills and a pair of aces. Payton Gawith added 12 assists.

Hiebert added 12 digs and two ace serves. Sophomore libero Raychel Reed had nine digs. Takova added one solo block and two block assists.

Butler was led by Nia Bishop's nine kills and two blocks.

Set 1: The Blue Dragon trio of Takova, Hogan and Hiebert combined for 12 kills in the opening set. A Takova kill gave Hutch an early 6-3 lead. With Butler leading 10-9, Hiebert had two kills in a 6-0 Hutch run for a 15-10 lead. Hogan and Takova had kills in Hutch's decisive 6-0 run, which was aided by four Butler attack errors. Takova's kill gave Hutch a 21-15 lead. The teams traded points the rest of the set and Hutch finished off the set on a Hiebert kill for a 25-19 win.

Set 2: The Blue Dragons had to overcome seven attack errors and early deficits of 3-0 and 5-2 in the second set. Hutch tied the set at 9-all on a Crites ace serve. Then tied at 12, Hogan's kill started a run of nine-unanswered points that included five Butler attack errors. Reed had another service ace and the Grizzlies missed another attack to give Hutch a 21-12 lead. The run climbed to 13-3 to end the second set on back-to-back kills from Crites and Delilah Vigil. Butler had only four kills and nine attack errors in the second set.

Set 3: Butler led 7-6 when Tara Davis dropped a perfect tip in the short corner to start a run of three Hutch points. After a Crites' service ae and Takova kill, Hutch led 9-6, but the Grizzlies tied the set at 9-all. A Hogan kill started the decisive 16-5 run to finish the third set. Five different Blue Dragons had kills in the run. A Crites/Vigil double block gave Hutch an 18-11 lead. A Hiebert kill made it 19-12 and a Takova kill made it 23-14. The Dragons' final two points came on a Butler attack and service error.