Broncos sweep trolls, secure spot in Round of 16

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Sioux City, IA -- The Hastings College volleyball team had its offense firing on all cylinders sweeping past (RV) Trinity Christian 26-24, 25-17, 25-21 on Wednesday afternoon in Pool D action at the NAIA Volleyball National Championships in the Tyson Events Center. The win also pushes Hastings into the knockout stage beginning Friday.

The Broncos came out in set one looking very sharp opening up a 19-14 lead before Trinity Christian would score five straight points to tie the set 19-19 before HC would get kills from Matti Dabovich (SR/Pueblo West, CO) and Emily Lenners (JR/Adams, NE) to go back up 21-19.

This would still not slow up the Trolls as three straight Bronco errors gave TCC a 22-21 lead. Hastings came right back with a kill from Dabovich and then regained the lead on a Trinity error at 23-22.

The two teams fought to a 24-24 tie and Claira Thede (SO/St. Paul, NE) connected with Lucy Skoch (SO/Hastings, NE) on back-to-back plays to put the set away 26-24 in favor of the Broncos.

Hastings would take control of set two early on when Clare Hamburger (SR/Hastings, NE) connected with Dabovich to make it 7-5. Thede would come in and set one to Meyer as she would get the kill to make it 8-5. Hastings would go up 9-5 on a Kacie Stoll attack error.

Following a service error by the Broncos, Hastings would get that point right back on a service error and then Ally Ginkens (JR/Mullen, NE) picked up a kill as Hastings opened up an 11-6 lead in set two.

The Broncos would keep that five point lead late into set two when Hastings scored the final three points of the set including a solo block from Lenners and then a service ace from Cassidy Ostrand (JR/Central City, NE) to win set two 25-17.

The same story looked to play out in set three as the Lady Broncos jumped out to a 6-2 lead on the strength of a kill from Hamburger, a service ace from Ostrand and three attack errors by the Trolls.

But Trinity Christian would keep things interesting as Hastings would hold a 19-17 lead late in set three. HC went back to hot handed Skoch as she picked up another kill followed by an attack error to give Hastings a 21-17 lead.

From there, the Trolls really never threatened and leading 24-21, Hamburger sent a pass outside where Meyer buried the kill for the victory.

Head Coach Matt Buttermore talked about his teams performance "I thought we played a little cleaner than we did yesterday especially on offense as we hit a high percentage in all three sets," he said. "A couple things I thought we could have done better on defense that we will need to do better tomorrow. We could serve a little better and will need to improve tomorrow in order to be successful."

Skoch led the Broncos with a match high 13 kills while hitting .522. Meyer added nine kills while hitting .231 and Lenners finished with eight kills and hit .467 for the match. Ginkens and Dabovich finished with seven kills each.

Buttermore talked about why the Broncos were so successful on offense, "It starts with our serve receive like we saw today when you hit a high percentage," he continued. "Then the setters did a nice job starting faster and that's why you saw our perecentage rise a little bit because they were deliving a lot better ball today. The hitters were hitting it high and making good decisions with it."

Thede led the Broncos with 21 assists while Hamburger added 16 assists and a kill.

As a team, Hastings hit .343 for the match while holding the Trolls to .219. Casey Krolikowski (SR/Cairo, NE) led the back line with 12 digs while Meyer and Hamburger combined for 10 digs.

Hastings improves to 21-6 and will be back in action Thursday Nov. 29 taking on No. 4 Missouri Baptist with first serve set for 12:00 p.m. in the Tyson Events Center.