DRAGONS STUN NO. 10 INDIAN HILLS IN 5-SET THRILLER

The Blue Dragon Volleyball team celebrates match point after rallying to defeat No. 10 Indian Hills in five sets on Saturday to close out the Blue Dragon Volleyball Classic. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
The Blue Dragon Volleyball team celebrates match point after rallying to defeat No. 10 Indian Hills in five sets on Saturday to close out the Blue Dragon Volleyball Classic. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

A frustrating Friday turned into a sensational Saturday for the Hutchinson Community College volleyball team.

The Blue Dragons dropped their first two Blue Dragon Classic matches on Friday to No. 2 Navarro and unranked Jefferson College. Earlier on Saturday, the Dragons snapped a four-match losing streak with a sweep of No. 14 Mineral Area.

Hutchinson then finished off Saturday in spectacular fashion, rallying from a set down to defeat No. 10 Indian Hills 18-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10. The Blue Dragons improve to 6-8 heading into Monday's conference road trip to Butler Community College in El Dorado.

Freshman Katelyn Elstun pounded down 20 kills to lead a gutsy Blue Dragon effort. Freshman Camila Espejo had 11 kills, including five in the fifth set.

Down 2-1, the Blue Dragons trailed 18-13 in the fourth set. An 8-1 run turned things around and Elstun's kill finished off the comeback with a 25-21 win to force a decisive fifth set.

Then tied at 1-all in the fifth, an Elstun kill started a 10-2 run that had three Espejo kills and two Lainey Robertson service aces. An Espejo kill gave Hutch an 11-3 lead and prompted a Warrior timeout. Indian Hills then chipped away with a 7-2 run and pulled with 13-10 after a Mariana Rodrigues kill. After a Hutch timeout, Elstun got a key kill for a sideout and bring the Dragons to match point. The Warriors had an attack error on the final point of the match.

It's the second time this season the Blue Dragons rallied from a set down to win a five-set match. Hutch is 2-1 in five-setters this season.

Elstun had her fourth double-double of the season with 20 kills and 11 digs. She also had two blocks and two aces while hitting .167 on 54 swings.

Espejo had a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs. She hit .250 on 32 attacks.

Robertson posted her first career double-double with 26 assists and 13 digs. She also had two aces.

Freshman Thorne also had a big match with 13 kills on .300 hitting.

Sophomore setter Eboni Sapien finished with 27 assists. Freshman setter Alissa Bautista had a season-best 27 digs.

Three different players had 14 kills each for Indian Hills.

1st set: Even though the Blue Dragons lost the first set, the fact that the Dragons rallied in the first set from a 15-6 margin provided some fuel for later the match. Elstun had a solo block to pull the Dragons with 15-9. Thorne had three kills in a 5-1 Dragon run to pull within 18-14. The Dragons weren't able to get any closer and fell 25-18.

2nd set: There were six tied and three lead changes in the first 17 rallies of the set. Tied at 8-all, the Dragons went on a 5-1 run capped by an Elstun ace for a 13-9 lead. An Espejo kill make it 16-11. Indian Hills hurt its own cause with six attack errors and five service errors. Hutch led 23-15, but Indian Hills scored for in a row. Myracle Lettries had a kill and then the set ended on a Warrior service error to give Hutch a 25-20 set victory and knot the match at one set each.

3rd set: Elstun started to hurt the Warriors with seven kills in the third set. The Dragons fell behind 8-5 early and battled back to tie the set at 18 after a Jaydin Schake/Elstun double block. Tied at 19, the Warriors scored three in a row and then sided out three times to take a 2-1 match lead after a 25-22 win. Indian Hills had 16 kills and three service aces in the third set.

4th set: There were three lead change and four ties in the four set. Hutchinson trailed 13-9, but started to find its way back into the set. Still trailing 18-13, the Dragons got kills from Elstun and Schake on an overpass and two IHCC attack errors to pull within 18-17. Hutch took the lead with a Hiebert kill, Deijia Rodriquez service ace, Elstun tip for a kill and Warrior attack error and the Blue Dragons led 21-19. Elstun had three kills on Hutch's final four points to close out the set and force a decisive fifth set.