HESSTON — The Hesston Swathers opened the season Saturday with a second-place finish at the Central Kansas League pre-season tournament at Hesston.

In pool play, Hesston downed Larned 25-18, 25-10; Hoisington 25-23, 25-26; and Lyons 25-13, 25-16; before falling to Nickerson 27-25, 25-19.

Hesston, Lyons and Nickerson each finished 3-1 in the pool with Nickerson winning the tie-breaker on percentage of sets won and Hesston taking second.

In the semifinals, Hesston downed Smoky Valley 25-19, 25-15. In the finals, Hesston fell to Nickerson 25-23, 22-25, 25-13.

“I was pleased with the progress that we made throughout the tournament, as we continued to get better in all areas as the day went on,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “Our serving was very strong throughout, and we had some great defensive plays against some strong hitters. Serve receive passing was consistent and our setting and hitting connections improved as we got more reps and opportunities to adjust. We had several players in new positions and playing at the varsity level for the first time, and they stepped up to perform well.

“It was good for us to play a talented Nickerson team twice during the day to help us identify the things we need to improve on in the coming weeks. We struggled with keeping our energy level up at times, but gave a great effort throughout the tournament. This group has worked very hard the first two weeks, and it is exciting to see a lot of potential for the rest of the season with this team.”

Hesston was led by Talby Duerksen with 49 kills for the day. Elise Kaiser added 30 kills with 60 digs. Celbi Richardson set 56 assists. Harley Ferralez served 17 aces. Lindsey Deegan downed 17 blocks.

Halstead finished fifth. In pool play, Halstead fell to Hillsboro 25-22, 25-17; and Haven 18-25, 25-23, 25-23; before topping Pratt 25-18, 25-18.

In the consolation semifinals, Halstead downed Lyons 25-15, 25-23. In the fifth-place match, Halstead downed Haven 20-25, 25-20, 25-16.

Central Kansas League

Pre-Season Tournament

Saturday at Hesston

Pool A — Haven def. Pratt, 25-22, 25-21; Hillsboro def. Halstead, 25-22, 25-17; Hillsboro def. Haven, 26-28, 25-12, 25-20; Smoky Valley def. Pratt, 25-13, 25-9; Smoky Valley def. Hillsboro, 25-23, 22-25, 25-14; Haven def. Halstead, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23; Smoky Valley def. Halstead, 24-26, 25-21, 25-16; Hillsboro def. Pratt, 25-16, 25-9; Halstead def. Pratt, 25-18, 25-18; Smoky Valley def. Haven, 25-20, 25-13.

Pool A results — Smoky Valley 4-0, Hillsboro 3-1, Haven 2-2, Halstead 1-3, Pratt 0-4.

Pool B — Hesston def. Larned, 25-18, 25-10; Lyons def. Nickerson 25-13, 15-25, 25-18; Hesston def. Hoisington, 25-23, 25-16; Lyons def. Larned, 25-11, 25-15; Nickerson def. Larned, 25-11, 25-12; Lyons def. Hoisington, 25-16, 25-13; Hesston def. Lyons 25-13, 25-16; Nickerson def. Hoisington, 25-14, 25-19; Nickerson def. Hesston 27-25, 25-19; Hoisington def. Larned 25-12, 25-12.

Pool B results — Nickerson 3-1, Hesston 3-1, Lyons 3-1, Hoisington 1-3, Larned 0-4. Tie was broken by percentage of sets won: Nickerson 7-2 (78%), Hesston 6-2 (75%), Lyons 6-3 (67%).

Consolation Bracket Semifinals — Haven def. Hoisington, 25-23, 25-14; Halstead def. Lyons, 25-15, 25-23.

Championship Bracket Semifinals — Hesston def. Smoky Valley, 25-19, 25-15; Nickerson def. Hillsboro 20-25, 25-19, 25-17.

Bracket Finals: Ninth place — Pratt def. Larned 25-8, 25-17. Seventh place — Lyons def. Hoisington 19-25, 25-10, 25-12. Fifth place — Halstead def. Haven 20-25, 25-20, 25-16. Third place — Hillsboro def. Smoky Valley 25-23, 25-21. Championship — Nickerson def. Hesston 25-23, 22-25, 25-13.

Hesston stats

Kills — Talby Duerksen 49, Elise Kaiser 30, Celbi Richardson 18, Lindsey Deegan 14, Harley Ferralez 14, Caryn Yoder 3, Olivia Lais 1.

Assists: Richardson 56, Lais 29, Ferralez 13, Kaiser 6, Yoder 6.

Aces: Ferralez 17, Richardson 12, Duerksen 7, Kaiser 6, Emily Koehn 5, Lais 4.

Blocks: Deegan 7, Ferralez 6, Duerksen 5, Kaiser 4, Richardson 4, Yoder 2.

Digs: Kaiser 60, Duerksen 33, Ferralez 22, Koehn 19, Richardson 18, Lais 12, Deegan 3, Hailey Waltner 3, Yoder 2.