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Hastings advances to bracket play at NAIA tournament

Andrea LaVene is all smiles after scoring a point for Hastings College, Nov. 8, 2017, in a GPAC semifinal against Midland (KHGI)

Hastings College utilized a sweep of Madonna (-14, -20, -17) and got some help from No. 14 Montana Tech (2-0) in a five-set victory over Embry-Riddle (0-2) to secure a spot in the NAIA single elimination bracket.

The Broncos (2-0) capitalized on a dominant performance of the Crusaders, hitting .406 as a team while holding Madonna (0-2) to .154 in the match. For the second straight outing, the Bronco offense avoided a single block by the opponent. Hastings College tallied 8.0 for the match.

Andrea LaVene and Katie Placke, both seniors, tied for a match high of 11 kills while Placke's .733 hitting percentage was better than anyone and LaVene was right behind her at .667. They both had two block assists.

Freshman Lucy Skoch led all defenders with six block assists and she also added three kills in the match.

Jumping out to a 19-10 lead with Emily Filsinger on serve in the first set, the Broncos never looked back for the rest of the morning. It took the Broncos 61 minutes to defeat Madonna.

Now Hastings College has a chance to secure the top seed for Pool C, when they face Montana Tech at 12 p.m. CT. A win puts the Broncos in the 3:45 p.m. CT match against the second-place finisher out of Pool D, which is either Dordt or Missouri Baptist. A loss would pit the Broncos up against the top seed out of the same pool. Dordt and Missouri Baptist play at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday.

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