Broncos volleyball bested by No. 3 Columbia in knockout round
When it's not your day, it is just not your day as the Hastings College volleybal team found out in its 12-25, 8-25, 14-25 loss to No. 3 Columbia in the round of 16 at the NAIA Volleyball National Championships at the Tyson Events Center on Friday morning.
This was certainly not a match that reflected the season for the Lady Broncos and unfortunately it started from the get go. Head Coach Matt Buttermore talked about the start and how Hastings could not recover, "They served really well and you know they've been here before and they know what it takes. We never really put any pressure on them to see if we could get some cracks going," he continued. "They came out hitting great serves and we passed really poorly from the start and everything kind of crumbled from there."
"I don't really know you know, it's the same routine everyday," Buttermore said. "I don't know if there were some nerves at the beginning of the match, I mean I thought we looked loose so maybe in warmups I thought we got a little tight and then from there it just snowballed from there."
It was not a game where Hastings could swing the momentum as everything the Cougars offered seemed to turn into gold opening the match on a 9-1 run and never looked back.
"We just needed to pass, we needed to be able to find some combinations there in serve receive plus less hitting errors," Buttermore continued. "Our serve receive got better as the match went on but they did a really good job on defense and our hitters just weren't aggressive. We didn't get to our scouting report very much so once the momentum flipped, we were never able to get it back unlike yesterday."
For the match, Hastings hit -0.053 while Columbia hit .444. Emily Lenners (JR/Adams, NE) and Matti Dabovich (SR/Pueblo West, CO) led the way with four kills each.
Even though the match and season didn't end the way Hastings would wanted, there was still plenty to celebrate including Clare Hamburger (SR/Hastings, NE) recording her 2,000 career assist at the tournament among may other things this senior class has accomplished.
"Four trips to nationals, couple of conference championships, a national championship so it's been a great four years for them and hopefully a great experience for them as when we look back we are happy they were a part of our program," Buttermore said.
Casey Krolikowski (SR/Cairo, NE) will end her career with 550 kills, 51 assists and 688 digs as she was named honorable mention All-American to go along with her mulitiple all-conference honors.
Sage Meyer (SR/Bellevue, NE) ends her career with 1,216 career kills, 54 assists and 1102 digs
Dabovich saved her best for last as she finished with 298 career kills with 201 coming this past season.
Rielyn Hoffman (SR/Chandler, AZ) ended her senior year leading the team in service aces with 35. She ended her career with 61 total service aces.
Hastings finishes the year at 22-7 advancing to the knockout stage of the national tournament for the fourth straight season.
Also ending her career is Danielle Shenk (SR/Polk, NE) as she finished her this season with 13 kills.