HESSTON — The top-ranked (Kansas Volleyball Association, Class 3A) Hesston Swather volleyball team had a couple easy sets and a couple challenging ones in a triangular sweep Thursday in non-league play at Hesston.
Hesston topped Minneapolis 20-10, 20-5; and Hutchinson Trinity 25-20, 23-25, 25-15. Trinity downed Minneapolis 25-22, 25-19.
“Our serve receive in that last match wasn’t great,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said of the Trinity match. “We were able to put a few more balls away in that third set. We had some nice hits. In the second set, they found away around our block. We got a few more aggressive hits in that third set.”
With the season less than a week old, Hesston is off to a 9-1 start.
“We’re a little tired,” Peters said. “We’ve played 10 matches since Saturday. We have another tough one on Tuesday. … We haven’t talked much (about the ranking). It’s early in the season. It certainly puts a target on your back. It’s a compliment that the other coaches think that way about you. We’re still getting half of our players, who have never played varsity before this year, used to playing with the rest of the team. We need to work on communication. It takes a little time to get everyone on the same page. We have a lot of talented hitters this year. The more we use them, the less predictable we’ll be.”
Hesston trailed 2-0 against Trinity in the first set, but pulled away to a 13-7 lead. Hesston held off a late Celtic run for the set.
The second set went back and fourth. Down 18-15, Hesston made a 5-0 run. Trinity replied with a 5-0 run. Hesston held off two set points before a Meg Friday tip hit the court.
Katie Neal hit a pair of aces to open the third set. Hesston replied with an 8-2 run. Hesston pulled away late, winning the match on a pair of Kailey Jo Ince spikes.
“That first set went really well for us,” Ince said. “We finally woke up in that third set and played well. We We let down in the second set and half to pick it up in the third. We were struggling a little bit, but we found a way. This is my 10th game, so I’m super tired. This break is a good one for us.”
Ince and Mia Loganbill each had 15 kills to lead the Swather attack. Talby Duerksen had five kills, followed by Rylie Schilling with four. Alaina Dunlavy set 36 assists. Schilling, Duerksen and Dunlavy each downed three blocks. Duerksen had eight digs. Schilling served three aces, followed by Duerksen, Dunlavy and Ince with two each.
For Trinity, freshman Leah Bentley had eight kills, followed by Neal with six kills and a downed block, Elizabeth Zrubek with six kills and Paige Dechant with four kills and a downed block. Zrubek served four aces, followed by Neal with three.
Against Minneapolis, Hesston jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and never looked back. Minneapolis managed just three kills and two blocks in the set.
Hesston gave up the first point of the second set on a serving error, but came back with a 9-1 run and allowed just three more points in the match.
Schilling and Ince each had five kills against Minneapolis. Loganbill had four. Dunlavy set 19 assists. Schilling, Duerksen and Dunlavy downed two blocks each. Ince had 12 digs, followed by Loganbill with 10.
Minneapolis stayed close early in the first set against Trinity, but the Celtics were able to start getting their spikes down and make a run. Minneapolis made a run to get withwin three, 20-17 and force a Trinity time out. The Lions took a 22-21 lead on a Trinity violation, forcing a second Celtic time out.
Trinity then made a 4-0 run for the set.
Minneapolis struggled with errors in the second set, falling behind 7-3. The two teams seemed to trade points from there.
Kyndal Brenning led Trinity with six kills. Leah Bentley added five. Neal had four kills with a downed block. Elizabeth Zrubek had three kills and a downed block. Paige Dechant had three kills. Erica Naccarato and Bentley each served two aces.
Kyle Fuller and Faythe Korinek each had four kills for Minneapolis. Karisma Vignrey had two kills. Fuller and Korinek each served two aces.
Hesston hosts Nickerson and Smoky Valley at 5 p.m. Tuesday to open Central Kansas League play. The Swathers edged Nickerson in three sets at the CKL pre-season tourney.
“(Nickerson) took it to us in the first set,” Ince said. “We came back and played well. We have to practice hard and play well against them.”
“We didn’t pass very well in the first set,” Peters said. “They are a very talented team.”
Hesston def. Minneapolis 20-10, 20-5
Hutchinson Trinity def. Minneapolis 25-22, 25-19
Hesston def. Hutchinson Trinity 25-20, 23-25, 25-15
Kills: Kailey Jo Ince 5, Rylie Schilling 5, Mia Loganbill 4, Talby Duerksen 3, Jada Mininger 2, Alaina Dunlavy 2.
Assists: Dunlavy 19, Ince 1, Schilling 1.
Aces: Schilling 3, Duerksen 2, Dunlavy 2, Ince 2.
Blocks: Schilling 3, Duerksen 3, Dunlavy 3, Ince 1, Kailie Hamilton 1, Loganbill 1.
Digs: Duerksen 8, Ince 7, Elise Kaiser 4, Dunlavy 3, Jules Toews 2, Loganbill 2, Schilling 1, Micheala Vogt 1.
vs. Hutch Trinity
Kills: Ince 15, Loganbill 15, Duerksen 6, Schilling 4, Dunlavy 2, Mininger 1.
Assists: Dunlavy 36, Ince 2, Mininger 1, Vogt 1.
Aces: Dunlavy 1, Schilling 1, Loganbill 1, Ince 1.
Blocks: Schilling 2, Duerksen 2, Dunlavy 2.
Digs: Ince 12, Loganbill 10, Dunlavy 7, Vogt 6, Toews 5, Schilling 4, Kaiser 3, Duerksen 3, Hamilton 1.
Hutchinson Trinity def. Hesston 25-23, 25-12
Hesston def. Minneapolis 27-25, 19-25, 15-6
Hutchinson Trinity def. Minneapolis 25-17, 25-21
Hutchinson Trinity def. Minneapolis 25-13, 25-15
Hutchinson Trinity def. Hesston 25-16, 25-18
Minneapolis def. Hesston 25-12, 25-20