Hastings, NE – The Hastings College volleyball team utilized great defense in its 25-15, 28-26, 25-17 sweep of No. 9 Midland on Wednesday night in Lynn Farrell Arena.
Unlike Saturday against Northwestern, the Broncos got off to a much better start against the Warriors jumping out to an early 7-3 lead which was helped by three straight Warrior errors.
Hastings would then get some offensive help from Casey Krolikowski and Cassidy Ostrand as both recorded kills to push the lead to 10-5. Then the defense would get into the action as Andrea LaVene teamed up with Ostrand and Catherine Williams on back-to-back blocks as the Bronco lead ballooned to 14-7.
From there Hastings controlled the first set utilizing its defense and some help from the Warriors. Head Coach Matt Buttermore talked about the fast start, “I was happy we had a fast start because Saturday we did not, we kind of limped into the match a little bit,” Buttermore continued. “I thought we did a good job of setting the tone.”
Set two was as intense as they come as neither team would lead by more then three points as Midland had built a 14-11 lead only to see Hastings bounce back to lead 20-18 and 23-21 before some extra volleyball was needed.
After Midland came back to tie the set at 23, Ostrand picked up a kill which gave Hastings set point. Midland’s Jenny Blair answered right back with a kill and then took the lead on a Taylor Petersen service error.
The block came up strong once again for Hastings as LaVene picked up a solo block to tie things up a 25. Now with the set tied 26-26, Lucy Skoch and LaVene teamed up for back-to-back blocks to give Hastings the set two win.
Buttermore talked about that second set, “They are a good team and played really good defense in that second set and just kept making us work,” Buttermore said. “We made some mistakes there but that’s what good teams do is they are going to make you make mistakes. So we didn’t handle that very well in the middle of it but we hung in there tough and pulled off the second set.”
Set three was tight early but the Hastings went on an 8-1 run when the set was tied 10-10 en route to the 25-17 set three victory. LaVene picked up a kill while Filsinger added her lone service ace to go along with kills from Krolikowski and Williams took the wind out of the Warriors sails.
Midland struggled most of the night as Hastings kept the Warrior offense out of sync all night as Midland tallied 26 kills but had 27 errors to hit .010 for the night.
“It started with our serve, we did a much better job of serving today,” Buttermore said. “Right from the get go, we were serving them out of system and then taking advantage of it with our blocks. Those two things usually feed off eachother so when we are serving well, we’re going to get a few more blocks.”
Hastings finished the night hitting just .146 but picked up 15 team blocks. LaVene had her hand in on eight blocks while Williams added six of her own. LaVene and Krolikowski led the way with seven kills while Ostrand added six kills. Hastings improves to 15-1 (7-1) on the year and will be back in action Saturday Oct. 7 hitting the road to take on College of Saint Mary with first serve set for 1:00 p.m. in Omaha, NE.