LADY DRAGONS DROP HEARTBREAKER IN NJCAA TOURNAMENTNovember 17, 2012
HCC Sports InformationWEST PLAINS, Mo. – Down two sets to one to Temple College, the Hutchinson Community College volleyball team fought back.
Down 12-8 in the decisive fifth set, the fight continued for the Lady Dragons, knotting the match at 13-all. But Temple got kills on the final two points in the fifth set to end the Lady Dragons’ renaissance season one step short of Saturday’s place matches at the 2012 NJCAA Division I Volleyball championships at the West Plains Civic Center.
Temple won its second five-set match of the day on Friday, defeating the Lady Dragons 25-19, 18-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13. Hutchinson earlier in the day on Friday snapped a five-match losing streak for Region VI teams with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Wallace State.
The Lady Dragons close the 2012 season as Jayhawk West champions, Region VI champions, and a 28-10 overall record.
“I am proud of them for the way that they never let down,” HCC coach Patrick Hall said. “This team has been able to come back several times this year. They could have folded today here. We had a lot of net violations, but we recovered from that, got a little more integrity with our block and that helped us get back in the game.”
Jayhawk West Player of the Year Teresa Wade had 17 kills, 12 digs, two blocks and a service ace to lead the Lady Dragons.
Sophomore Kayla Karmazyn had another strong match with 11 kills (20 for the day in two matches). Sophomore Gabby Rushton had seven kills, while sophomore Shayne Haley finished with five kills and three total blocks.
The Lady Dragons had 11 total blocks to Temple’s five.
Sophomore Emily Oberlin, playing in the middle for injured freshman Megan Heier, posted a career block total for the second-straight match. After a career-best seven blocks against Wallace State, Oberlin topped that mark with eight total blocks and four kills.
“I am so proud of Emily and Kayla for what they have brought to this team this year” Hall said of Oberlin and Karmazyn. “Both come off the bench many times to contribute and here at nationals, they both come up huge.”
Sophomore setter Scout Heizer finished with 24 assists and eight digs. Sophomore Ashlyn Westerman added 16 assists and nine digs. Freshman libero Samantha Lackey had 26 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Taylor Karcher added 14 digs and a season-high three service aces.
“We knew we could do this, getting to nationals and winning a game,” Oberlin said. “Even when it was over, Shayne and I had a moment. We were sad it was over, but we were really proud of what we accomplished.”
Temple (28-18), which will play Missouri State-West Plains for ninth place on Saturday, was led by middle Whitlee Byrd, who had a match-high 18 kills, two blocks and two service aces. Jessica Cuba pounded down 17 kills. Christian Schuett had five of her 11 kills in the decisive fifth set.
Unlike Friday morning’s quick start, the Lady Dragons struggled out of the chute against Temple. The Owls led 7-4, 9-5 and 14-8 and HCC never recovered. The Lady Dragons got five first-set kills from Wade, but were out-hit 16-13. The Lady Dragons had three two-point runs in the first set, but none longer. Byrd had a kill on an overpass to lead 23-16. HCC fought off two set points, but Kayla Pfengemeyer’s kills on the third set point gave Temple the set.
Hutchinson finally got its block going in the second set with five blocks. Oberlin led the way with four block assists. HCC’s block keyed an early 7-3 run on a double block by Oberlin and Haley. Two more double blocks pushed the Hutch led to 18-10. The lead grew to 23-14 before Temple reeled off three in a row. Kills from Karmazyn and Wade on points 24 and 25 tied the match at 1-1.
Net calls against started becoming an issue in the third set for HCC. Before that, the Lady Dragons were tied at 11-all, but Temple scored four straight for a 15-11 lead, forcing a timeout. The Lady Dragons were siding out well, but were whistled for three next in the next eight rallies to give Temple a 19-15 lead. The Lady Dragons pulled within 19-16 and 20-17 before Temple closed out the set. Byrd had six kills in the third set to lead the Owls.
The Lady Dragons bolted out of the gate in the fourth set to leads of 6-0, 9-2 and 15-5. Temple helped the HCC cause with six attack errors and five service errors. With Hutch up 18-8, Temple started to chip away, again led by Byrd, who had five kills and a solo block. The Hutch lead dwindled to four at 19-15. HCC led 23-16, but four in a row by the Owls cut the margin to 23-20. A double contact violation on set put gave HCC the fourth and sent the match to the fifth.
While much of the defensive focus was on Byrd and Cuba, Temple’s Schuett took over in the fifth set. Temple led 5-1, but Hutchinson answered with a 7-1 run to lead 8-6 at the crossover. Temple then scored six straight to lead 12-8. Kills by Haley and Oberlin pulled HCC within 12-11. After a Schuett kills, the Owls were called for a net violation and then an attack error tied the match at 13-all. Schuett had kills on the final two points to end the Lady Dragons’ season.
MATCH NOTES – HCC is now 12-11 all time in the NJCAA Tournament.