By Bailey Pennycuff / Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College volleyball team faced Seward County last Sunday in Liberal. In only four sets, the Blue Dragons were victorious (25-17, 25-15, 21-25, 25-15) over the sixth-ranked Saints. This victory put a strike through Seward County’s match win streak.

HutchCC had 18 total blocks for the match, as well as 56 digs. These impressive statistics made for a season-high in both categories.

Although Seward out-hit the Blue Dragons 43-40, the difference in blocks is what capitalized this win (18-5). HutchCC had 24 block assists and six solos.

Freshman Kristina Head contributed the most blocks, coming in at four solos and eight block assists. These 12 total blocks tied for second-most in a single match (Kim Rausch, 2001; Ludmila Amaral, 2007; Petra Silic, 2015; and Tatyana Ndekwe, 2017) for Blue Dragon history.

Additionally, sophomore setter Chloe Price set a record for the most blocks in a single match by a setter, with eight total blocks.

Not only that, the Blue Dragon defense still has more to brag on. Freshman libero Shelby Reeder had a whopping 18 digs to lead the team.

As if this wasn’t enough to handle the Saints, the Blue Dragon offense went off as well.

Sophomore Jenna Thorne continues to display her offensive talents by earning 23 kills on .400 hitting.

Monday, the Blue Dragons travelled to Pratt, where they earned their eighth-straight win.

Three sets is all it took for HutchCC to achieve the victory against the Beavers, 25-13, 25-22, 25-16.

The team hit .439 for the sweep, led by Thorne with 13 kills, hitting .414 herself. Sophomore Myracle Lettries had eight kills of her own and hit a career-high .538.

Overall, they had 43 kills, 6.5 team blocks, seven aces, and only seven errors.

The Blue Dragons are now 14-5 overall and 7-2 in the Jayhawk West. They will face Independence Monday at the Sports Arena in hopes of another conference win.

Men’s Basketball – Last Saturday, the men’s basketball team picked up a win in Liberal against Seward. Although the Blue Dragon offense was slow at first, they still managed a 73-56 victory.

Sophomore Matt Mayers expanded his outstanding performance streak by posting his seventh double-double of the season.

This game was the third game for the Blue Dragon’s defense to hold an opponent to less than 30 percent shooting – holding Seward at 28.8 percent. Their defense also caused 15 total turnovers for the Saints.

Freshman Bryant Selebangue ended the game, and led the team, with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Mayers was right behind him with 15 points, and 12 rebounds.

The Blue Dragons led the Saints in rebounding, at 42-37.

This win makes the Blue Dragons 8-3 overall and 7-3 in the Jayhawk West, where they now reign as the number one ranked team in the conference.

Softball – Saturday, the softball team travelled to Tishomingo, Oklahoma to face Murray State, which would ultimately result in an unfortunate sweep. The day before, the Blue Dragons were swept by North Central Texas College.

In game one, HutchCC managed to start the game with a 4-0 lead. By the top of the fourth inning, it was a 5-1 game. However, the Blue Dragons were unable to hold the lead in the seventh inning.

Sophomore pitcher Jordan Galliher started the game, however sophomore pitcher Sam Bailey came in for relief, and ultimately took the loss.

Both HutchCC and Murray State had 11 hits for the first game. The final score was 8-7.

Game two, the Blue Dragons manufactured one run in the first inning, then was smacked back with four runs from the Aggies.

By the fifth inning, HutchCC was down 6-4, however, the fifth inning was a long one.

Murray State continued to find ways on base and advance runners, until they eventually were ahead by eight for the run-rule win.

The final score was 12-4 in five innings. Freshman Miquela Guajardo took the loss, with four hits and five runs.

Tuesday, at Fun Valley, the Blue Dragons swept the Friends junior varsity. The win from game one marked coach Jaime Rose’s 500th career win. The team would later go on to achieve her 501st win as well that night.

The Blue Dragons are now 6-4 and will be back at it this Tuesday at Fun Valley to face Hesston. Thursday, they kick-off their conference games at home against Barton.

Baseball – Saturday, the baseball team hosted Cowley at Hobart-Detter Field in a doubleheader that would result in a Tiger sweep.

During game one, the Tigers launched three home runs to aid their 14-13 win.

Cowley was leading 6-1 after the top of the second inning. A strong rally ended up putting the Blue Dragons back on top for the third inning (9-6). Sophomore infielder Mason Lowe executed a hit-and-run, which tied the game, followed by a freshman outfielder Jack Torosian single to score another run. Freshman infielder Ben McLaughlin popped another run in with a sacrifice-fly. The last hit of the inning was a dinger from freshman infielder Austin Callahan.

The following inning brought a Cowley grand-slam to take the lead back – they also added on another unearned run later that inning.

Back up to the plate for the Blue Dragons, was Callahan with another homer. Trying to keep the rally going was sophomore outfielder Will Reetz with an RBI triple to right-field.

With two outs and two runners on, freshman pinch hitter Sterling Sutcliffe whacked one out the yard to tie the game at 13.

The well-fought game was eventually lost when the go-ahead run scored on a throwing error, and the Blue Dragons couldn’t muster one run in the bottom of the inning.

Freshman pitcher Zane Covey took the loss.

Game two began with a 4-0 Tiger lead after two innings.

McLaughlin managed to half the deficit with a two-run single in the third inning.

Cowley answered in the fifth with seven heartbreaking runs. There were five home runs hit by Cowley in just the fifth inning, which goes as a program record for single innings.

The final score was 15-2 in seven innings.

The Blue Dragons go on to be 2-3 and will host Coffeyville at Hobart-Detter Field on Saturday.

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