First round remix of 2016 NAIA title match

Ema Altena (center) of Dordt college celebrates a point against Hastings College on Dec. 1, 2017 (KHGI)

The fourth overall seed from Dordt handed Hastings College a small taste of its own medicine by topping the Broncos (20-25, -23, -20, -20) Friday at the Tyson Event Center.

Neither team was extremely successful on the offensive end as the Broncos out hit their GPAC nemesis, .158 to .154, and both registered 10.0 blocks.

Perhaps it came down to Dordt having six more kills on the ten attacks more than the defending national champs. The only place this match seemed one sided otherwise was in service errors, as the Broncos were plus six with 10 to the Defenders four.

The Defenders and Broncos met in the 2016 NAIA national championship, when the Broncos, who trailed two sets to none in the final, rallied back in the third to win the set and ultimately the match in five.

Ema Altena was a rock from the outside as she continued to ratchet up the offense with 18 kills, even though it took her 42 attacks to do so.

Seniors Katie Placke and Andrea LaVene were the heart of the Broncos once again, with Placke carding ten kills and a .167 hitting percentage while LaVene led all hitters with more than one attack at .292 and ten terminations.

Hastings College found itself down two sets to one in the fourth and in a 10-6 hole. The Broncos, who have had some remarkable performances against Dordt, needed to do it again. Hastings made it 10-9 before a Jill Bax service error went long and the deficit was doubled. Dordt increased it to 21-15, but then the Broncos seemed poised to do what they have done time and again, specifically against Dordt. Going on a 3-0 run, they forced a Dordt timeout, and continued after the break with two more points to make it 21-20. From there, the Defenders shut the door with the next four points and the match.

Set three saw each team trading leads through the first 28 points before a brief Bronco run tied things up at 14. From there Dordt was able to take a 21-18 lead and force Matt Buttermore to call a timeout. It did little for the Broncos as they were whistled for a hitting error on the final two points of the set.

It appeared as though the momentum from the first set was going to make for a quick match, as the Broncos were up 9-4 and forced a Dordt timeout. The Defenders responded in kind with a 16-5 spurt to take a 20-14 lead. Hastings College, trailing 24-20, nearly forced a two-point must win situation but could only get to 23 before Dordt finished it off.

Hastings raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, but Dordt responded swiftly and ultimately took a 14-9 lead. From there, the Broncos dominated, holding the Defenders to six points while rattling off 16 to win it, 25-20.

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