By Greta Klein
Staff writer

The Hutchinson Community College volleyball team was prepared to face off Monday night at the Sports Arena when the Blue Dragons went up against Pratt. Coming out strong with a 3-0 victory over the Beavers, the Blue Dragons maintained their perfect record in Jayhawk Conference play. This was made possible by a season-high attack percentage and 11 aces.

Securing the win allows the Blue Dragons to be 4-0 in the conference and have a 10-4 record for the overall season.

“I feel pretty good about it. We are really putting in the practice and it’s showing on the court,” sophomore Anna Dean said. “I think working hard is paying off for us”.

The Blue Dragons won with scores of 25-10, 25-6, and 25-16 in a match that lasted just one hour.

During the first set, the Blue Dragons dominated at the net, getting seven blocks, and also had four aces and a .389 attack percentage. Having four kills, sophomore Ashlyn Long took control of the set. After getting a kill by Long, the Blue Dragons started a run when the game was tied at 7, and then gained a 14-7 lead. Long and sophomore Cameron Letcher had a double block at the net, helping their lead.

“It makes me feel good. Coming back from a redshirt season it feels good to be back,” Letcher said.

Thanks to a Letcher solo block, the Blue Dragons made a 12-1 run continuing the lead 19-8.

Sophomore Alejandra Briseno ended the first set with two aces.

Opening the second set even stronger than the first, the Blue Dragons dropped a 10-0 lead. Putting on the pressure, the Beavers had three attack errors while Dean and sophomore Taniya Golden both had two kills. Going on a 5-0 run, the Blue Dragons led 17-4 thanks to Dean getting two more kills. Long also started a 5-0 run with a kill, putting the Blue Dragons up 20-6. In the set, the Blue Dragons hit .619 with 13 kills on 21 attacks.

There was no backing down for the Blue Dragons as they got to the third set. Starting off the set, freshman Alondra Velez had two aces, from freshman McKenzie Murphy, Long and Dean continued to add kills, and a double block from Murphy and Long contributed to a 13-6 lead.

The Blue Dragons took a timeout when the Beavers fought back and got the score to 15-14. Leading the game, 18-14, Golden came out from the timeout with two kills and freshman Ryleigh Stuhlsatz got an ace. Finishing the set, the Blue Dragons went on a 10-2 run. This led to the last seven points the Blue Dragons needed while Letcher got another kill on match point. During this set, the Blue Dragons hit .257 compared to Pratt who hit a minus -.038.

The Blue Dragons face off against Colby on Saturday at the Sports Arena. No matter what team the Blue Dragons are up against, the team is ready to compete.

“We are (a) high energy (team). We are hoping to bring a lot of energy because it helps us play better,” Dean said.

The Blue Dragons lost Wednesday in a five-set thriller to reigning Region 6 champion Butler.

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