HESSTON — The fifth-ranked (KVA, Class 3A) Hesston High School volleyball team fell to fifth-ranked (Class 5A) Maize South in four sets Thursday in Hesston.

Maize South won 16-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20.

“For the match we had more total kills, 53 to 45, but had 11 more hitting errors,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “The serving, blocking, and passing stats were fairly similar between the two teams, but we had 66 digs for the match to their 35, evidence of our defense that continues to improve. The errors we made overall just gave them too many points at critical times for us to overcome, but we were right there with them in almost every aspect of the match.”

Maize South improves to 36-2, whole Hesston drops to 24-6. The Swathers play Saturday at the Clearwater Invitational, followed by Lyons Tuesday on the road.

“Playing a strong team like Maize South is great for us at this point in the season,” Peters said. “We had some amazing defensive plays and our hitting was very effective when we stayed on the attack. Our blocking has improved throughout the past couple of weeks, and our passing was strong. While we missed a number of first serves throughout the night, we were able to get them out of system quite often with our serving, which let to many opportunities for us to attack.

“There were several stretches where we didn’t play up to our potential and we felt like we had our chances to compete better at times, but overall we have made good progress throughout the past couple of weeks. We hope to continue the positives throughout this weekend and next week as we prepare for more tough matches at sub-state.”

Hesston stats

Kills — Talby Duerksen 18, Elise Kaiser 17, Lindsey Deegan 7, Alex Martin 6, Celbi Richardson 3, Caryn Yoder 1, Harley Ferralez 1.

Assists — Richardson 47, Kaiser 2, Olivia Lais 1, Martin 1, Yoder 1, Emily Koehn 1.

Aces — Ferralez 4, Koehn 2, Duerksen 1, Lais 1.

Blocks — Kaiser 3, Yoder 3, Deegan 1, Martin 1.

Digs — Duerksen 17, Ferralez 13, Richardson 10, Kaiser 9, Koehn 8, Martin 4, Lais 3, Deegan 1, Yoder 1.