Broncos remain unblemished behind stellar defense

Hastings College senior Andrea LaVene (8) and Matti Dabovich (17) team up to block a CSM hitter, Sept. 13, 2017 (KHGI)

The No. 1 ranked Hastings College Broncos entered the day as one of four teams left unbeaten in the NAIA, and remain so after sweeping the College of St. Mary (-22, -14, -16) Wednesday night at Lynn Farrell Arena.

No one was better than senior middle Andrea LaVene. She tied for a match best nine kills and had a hitting percentage of .412 - but her best work was done on the defensive side. LaVene, who entered the match ranked No. 8 in the NAIA with 1.320 blocks per game, had a solo stuff and assisted on ten others. This led the Crimson and Cream to four solo shutdowns and 26 assists for a 17.0 team effort.

Matti Dabovich stood strong by LaVene's side with a block of her own and she also helped on six others. The Flames were held to a .021 hitting percentage as a team in this match, while the Broncos were at .360.

The Flames made the first set interesting, with CSM even leading 22-21 and on serve. A kill by Katie Placke even things up and the Broncos scored four straight points to take the set.

In the second set, College of St. Mary took advantage of some great digs and a strong showing by Dani Carlson (9 kills, .000) to stay in front early on. Hastings College went on a 13-3 run from there and easily took the second set.

The Broncos jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the third set and never looked back.

Hastings College (10-0) returns to action Saturday afternoon when Mount Marty visits the Broncos' campus for a 3 p.m. first serve.

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