Turns out the Hastings volleyball team needed a quick break to get collected.
Down two sets to none against Dordt in the NAIA championship match Saturday, the Broncos used the 10-minute set break to turn things in a big way.
“We knew we could win three sets, but Dordt did a lot right in the first two sets,” said Hastings coach Matt Buttermore. “We had to be aggressive and battle on; we just had to come out and play for each other.”
The Broncos reeled off three straight set wins to close out a 23-25, 15-25, 25-16, 25-22, 15-6 win in Sioux City, Iowa, and claim the school's first national title.
“We needed that 10-minute break," Buttermore said. "We had been in a couple of those situations before and we knew how to battle back. We just needed to make some big plays and that’s what we did."
After hitting .117 combined in the first two sets, the Broncos hit .259 over the final three. Katie Placke led Hastings with 14 kills, Jennifer Klaudt had 11, and Logan Drueppel and Sage Meyer chipped in nine and eight, respectively.
Placke had a team-high 26 assists, and Clare Hamburger added 19. Lincoln Southwest graduate Jill Bax had a team-high 22 digs.
Saturday's semifinals and final had a distinct Great Plains Athletic Conference flavor. Hastings topped Park, Missouri, 26-24, 24-26, 25-17, 26-24 earlier Saturday, while GPAC members Dordt and Midland met in the other semifinal, with the Defenders prevailing 25-17, 25-23, 25-16.
Meyer (16 kills), Drueppel (15 kills) and Placke (12 kills) powered Hastings to the semifinal win. Placke (28 set assists) and Hamburger (25 assists) spread the wealth offensively and Bax had 19 digs.
Pricilla O'Dowd had 13 kills and Krystina Koepke added 11, and KC Heimann nine for the Warriors in their loss to Dordt. Midland (31-4) was held to .188 hitting.
Peiyi Liu, Columbia; Makenzie Montano, Lindsey Wilson; KC Heimann, Midland; Rachelle Chamberlain, Eastern Oregon; Wendy Romero, Park; Priscilla O’Dowd, Midland; Taylor Beckman, Westmont; Ema Altena, Dordt; Jamie Gesnik, Dordt; Katie Placke, Hastings; Sage Meyer, Hastings; Taylor Wells, Grand View; Amelia Grahn, Viterbo; Brooke Granstra, Dordt.
Tournament MVP: Logan Drueppel, Hastings.
Tournament coach of the year: Matt Buttermore, Hastings.
Tournament libero of the year: Daniela Duarte, Park.