Sioux City, IA -- It was certainly a match of momentum for the Hastings College volleyball team as the Lady Broncos came away with the 25-21, 19-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-3 victory over No. 4 Missouri Baptist on Thursday afternoon. This gives Hastings the No. 1 seed out of Pool D and will play the No. 2 seed out of Pool C tomorrow morning.
Head Coach Matt Buttermore talked about the crazy back-and-forth this match had to offer, "You know, the first set was pretty well played by both teams and then after that it was just momentum. "Who could turn it the last time as we were able to turn it in set four there and keep it through set five," he continued. "Just some silly crazy plays, not the cleanest volleyball at times towards the end there but my fondest memory was the first set, I thought we played really well. We changed our mindset in the last two sets and that is what made the difference."
Outside of that clean set one, massive runs really made up the rest of the match. It didn't take long for one of those runs to rear its face as the Lady Broncos scored six of the first seven points of set two to build a 12-8 lead but the 'Big Mo' shifted quickly as the Spartans scored 12 of the next 15 points to flip the set in its favor en route to tying the match 1-1
Set three had the Broncos out of sorts as MBU rattled off 10 straight points in set two to jump out to a 10-1 lead. Hastings was able to get as close as five at 11-6 before losing 25-17.
"Missouri Baptist hit some really good serves and we didn't respond very well," Buttermore said about sets two and three. "Our passing really broke down and then when we did get a good ball everything else kind of broke down. It wasn't really a tactical match, there was some tactical things going on but 80 percent of it was momentum and who could buck up the fastest."
Just as bad as it seemed for HC, Ally Ginkens (JR/Mullen, NE) got Hastings off to a great start with a big kill to start set four. The Lady Bronocs used a four point run and a three point run to open up a 7-3 lead. More little runs powered by a kill from Lucy Skoch (SO/Hastings, NE) and a service ace from Elise Baumann (SO/Omaha, NE) moved the lead to 13-7. Then Ginkens would get a couple more kills as the lead ballooned to eight at 16-8 before Hastings would force a decisive set five.
The Spartans would never really recover as Hastings jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind a kill from Emily Krolikowski (FR/Cairo, NE), a service ace from Rielyn Hoffman (SR/Chandler, AZ) and an error from MBU. Then the wheels completely fell off for the Spartans as Hastings scored 12 of the final 15 points to take set five 15-3.
Down the stretch in set five, Matti Dabovich (SR/Pueblo West, CO) picked up three kills and Casey Krolikowski (SR/Cairo, NE) ended the match with the Broncos' seventh service ace of the match.
Buttermore touched on the resiliency his team showed today, "a lot of it is trusting each other, trust in themselves. Once we did that we were able to make plays we normally make," he said. "A lot of it was just making plays we normally make and we got them down a little bit and then it just snowballed from there."
Hastings only finished with one block in its win over Trinity Christian but changed that today by recording 12 team blocks. Emily Lenners (JR/Adams, NE) led the way with nine block assists. Skoch added four block assists and Dabovich finished with three block assists.
"I thought we could have blocked better at times and the serving, a lot of that had to do with the momentum so when we were playing well we were aggressive with our serve and we also dug better," Buttermore continued about his teams defense. "We need to be a little more consistant as we get into these knockout rounds because the matches are going to get tighter and tighter."
Ginkens finished with a career high 10 kills while hitting .241 for the match. Dabovich added nine kills but hit .692 for the match. Skoch added nine kills, Meyer finished with eight kills and Lenners added five kills.
Clare Hamburger (SR/Hastings, NE) and Claira Thede (SO/St. Paul, NE) combined for 33 assists while Casey Krolikowski led the team with 16 digs while Meyer added 11 digs.
Hastings improves to 22-6 on the year and will now wait to see who its round of 16 opponent will be as there is a possibility for a three way tie in Pool C between Aquinas, Colombia and Midland.