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Dragons Topple Grizzlies in Five-Set Season Finale Battle


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


EL DORADO, Kan. – Three points away from what might have been a devastating season-finale loss, sophomore Anna Dean stepped up just in time for the Hutchinson Community College volleyball team on Monday at Butler.

Tied at 12-12 in the fifth set, Dean had a kill, solo block and block assist on the final three rallies of the match to power the Blue Dragons to a 25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 15-12 victory at the Power Plant to snap a seven-match losing streak to the Grizzlies.

The Blue Dragons finish the regular season 24-14 and tied Colby for second place in the Jayhawk Conference at 11-5. The Blue Dragons win the tie-breaker with Colby for the second seed for the upcoming Region VI Tournament. The Blue Dragons will play host to Dodge City at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the opening round.

Hutchinson won the first two sets and dropped the third. The Blue Dragons had leads of 12-5 and 14-8 in the fourth set, but the Grizzlies rallied force a fifth set, outscoring Hutchinson 17-6 over the remainder of the fifth set.

Hutchinson built a 10-6 lead in the fifth, but the Grizzlies went on a 6-2 run to tie the set at 12-all. Dean had the biggest side out of the match when she hammered down a Butler overpass for a 13-12 lead. A Dean solo block on the next point gave the Dragons their first match point opportunity. Dean and Giovanna Ravanhani doubled up for a block to close out the match.

The Blue Dragons had 19 team blocks on Monday, tying for the fifth-most in Blue Dragon single-match history. McKenzie Murphy had six total blocks to lead the Dragons. Dean had five people and Taniya Golden with four blocks.

The Blue Dragons were out-hit .228-.139 with Butler tallying 56 kills to Hutchison’s 46. The Dragons out-blocked Butler 19-12. The Dragons also cashed in on 33 Grizzly attack errors and 12 service errors.

Golden led the Blue Dragons with her 19th double-double of the season. Golden had 17 kills and 17 digs. Golden surpassed the 950 career kill mark, now with 960 kills.

Alejandra Briseno posted her fourth double-double with 13 kills and 14 assist. Dean finished with seven kills and Emma Stubbs had four kills.

Ravanhani had 37 assists to move into seventh place on the Blue Dragon assist list with 1,619.

The Blue Dragons are now 6-3 in five-set matches in 2023.

SET 1: The Blue Dragons had four blocks in their first five points of the match to lead 5-1. Back-to-back Catalina Arce aces gave the Dragons a 10-6 lead and a Briseno ace made it 12-8. Stubbs’ kill gave the Dragons a 15-12 lead, but Butler rallied to knot the set at 18 all. A Golden/Dean double block gave Hutchinson a 21-18 lead, but the Grizzlies scored four unanswered points to take a 22-21 lead. The Dragons scored the final four points of the set, getting a Ravanhani kill on set point for a 25-22 win. The Dragons off-set 15 Butler kills with six blocks.

SET 2: Hutchinson scored the first six points of the set and led 9-3 after a Grizzly attack error. Butler drew within 11-9, but committed three-straight errors to give the Dragons a 14-9 lead. Murphy’s kill gave the Dragons a 19-12 lead and a Murphy/Briseno double block gave the Dragons a 21-13 lead. Butler went on a 6-1 run to pull within 22-19. Callie Muff and Dean teamed up for a block to side out. The Dragons won the set 25-19 for a 2-0 match lead.

SET 3: Butler built early leads of 8-4, 10-5, 13-8 and 17-10. The Dragons got as close to five at 22-17. Down 24-17, the Dragons fought off two set points with a Ravanhani kill and a Ravanhani/Murphy block, but the Grizzlies won the set 25-19.

SET 4: Murphy had a solo block to give Hutchinson an 8-3 lead. Dean’s solo block gave the Dragons an 11-5 lead and a Briseno kill made it 12-5. Leading 14-8, the Dragons saw Butler score four unanswered points to pull within 14-12. The Grizzlies made it an 8-1 run to take a 16-15 lead. Golden had a block and kill for a 17-16 lead. Butler then scored six straight to take a 22-17 lead. The teams sided out the final six points and Butler forced a fifth set with a 25-20 victory.

SET 5: The Dragon defense had two big early plays to build a 4-2 lead. First, Golden and Murphy double block and Dean had a dazzling pancake dig that ultimately led to a Hutchinson point. A Dean kill gave the Dragons a 10-6 lead. Butler scored five-straight to take an 11-10 lead. A Dean kill and Butler attack error gave the Dragons a 12-11 lead. Tied at 12, Dean finished off the match with a kill solo block and double block with Ravanhani. The Dragons took advantage of four Butler service errors and seven attack errors. The Dragons had four blocks in the final set.