Hastings, NE -- In a night where it was much more than just a volleyball game, the Hastings College volleyball team was able to show their support to breast cancer awareness and Cheer & Dance Head Coach Mikaelah Molifua, who is battling ovarian cancer, with a 28-26, 24-26, 25-13, 23-25, 15-11 victory over the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers on Friday.
With Lynn Farrell Arena decorated in pink and teal, the respective colors representing breast and ovarian cancer, set one had a perfect start for the Broncos (11-5, 6-3 GPAC), as Claira Thede (SO/St. Paul, NE) got a service ace in the first serve of the match, followed by a kill by Lucy Skoch (SO/Hastings, NE) for an early 2-0 lead for Hastings.
Neither team was able to pull away from the other, that is until the Broncos went on a 3-0 run with kills by Sage Meyer (SR/Bellevue, NE) and Clare Hamburger (SR/Hastings, NE) to get ahead of the Tiger 21-16. This was answered though with a 5-0 run for a 24-23 DWU lead. Both teams traded points to a 26-26 tie until a pair of blocks by Emily Lenners (JR/Adams, NE) & Ally Ginkens (JR/Mullen, NE) and Lenners & Matti Dabovich (SR/Pueblo West, CO) that finished the set for the 28-26 win for the Broncos.
DWU for the second consecutive set could not handle the service ace, this time by Cassidy Ostrand (JR/Central City, NE), to give Hastings another 2-0 lead.
With a 24-23 lead, the Broncos looked poised to take a quick 2-0 match lead, but that was not in the cards for Hastings as the Tigers took three straight rallies for the 26-24 set two victory that sent the teams tied into intermission.
A trio of kills by Lenners and a block by Dabovich highlighted a 5-0 run for the Broncos to take a 14-10 lead over the Tigers. Hastings used this run to breeze past the Tigers in set four 25-13 and regain the 2-1 match lead.
Despite falling behind 4-1 in set four, the Broncos were able to bounce back and keep it close with the Tigers and eventually taking a 16-15 lead. Hastings was able to come back out after a DWU timeout to take another rally, but a 3-0 answer by the Tigers gave them the lead again.
Tied 22-22, the Tigers finished the set on a 3-1 run to tie the match and force a decisive set five.
Fortunately for the Broncos, the Tigers were unable to carry their momentum into the fifth set while Hastings was able to take a lead and put the pedal to the metal, taking a 6-2 lead over Dakota Wesleyan.
DWU was able to fight back to make it a one-point, 6-5 Broncos lead, but it was all Broncos the rest of the way, with Meyer finishing off the Tigers with a kill for the 15-11 set five win and give the Broncos the 3-2 match victory.
For the Broncos, they will have their first conference matchup with new GPAC member Jamestown in a Saturday matinee. First serve versus the Jimmies is slated for 3 p.m. CST.