By Mike Pilosof
Hutchinson, KS-A slow start didn't deter Patrick Hiltz's team on Monday. But the result was still the same.
Lainey Robertson finished with 21 assists, Lauren Wilson had a career-high 13 digs, and Hutchinson swept Garden City in straight sets 10-25, 18-25 and 30-28 at the Sports Arena. The loss dropped the Broncbusters to 0-10 on the season.
"I'm at a loss for words," Hiltz said afterwards. "It's hard to understand why, when you know what will work and put yourself in a position of success, why would you do the exact opposite?"
Garden City definitely sputtered out of the gate. The Blue Dragons jumped out to a 6-1 advantage in the opening set, thanks to an Katelyn Elstun kill and double block from Jenna Thorne and Jaydin Schake. That lead swelled to 13-4 on a service ace by Eboni Sapien and stood at 17-6 after another kill from Elstun. That forced Hiltz to take his second and final timeout of the set.
"There's a huge lack of discipline on this team, and that's my fault as the coach," Hiltz explained. "I have to put a stop to players thinking they can do whatever they want."
Hutchinson continued the early attack, closing out the set on kills by Thorne and Camila Espejo.
"This isn't about winning and losing; it's about stubbornness and refusal to be open to new ideas and change," Hiltz added.
The Broncbusters were more competitive in the second set, building an early 6-4 lead on a kill by Adisyn Swan. But the Blue Dragons answered with four straight points and grabbed the advantage for good. They stretched that cushion to as many as six before a Broncbuster error closed out the set.
"Until we have a team of disciplined athletes with a service to others attitude, rather than a me-first mindset, until that changes, we will continue to struggle," Hiltz said.
Despite struggling for most of the night, Garden City came out strong in the third. The Broncbusters led 15-11 following a Katarina Vojvodic ace. Hutchinson answered, using a 5-1 run to jump back in front 18-17 before Garden City fought back to tie it at 23, fueled by another Swan spike and a Blue Dragon error.
"This isn't the same team that I see in practice," Hiltz said.
Hutch had five match points in the third set, and each time Garden City survived. But with the score tied at 28, the Broncbusters committed their 13th service error of the match. That was followed by Elstun's third ace that closed it out.
"Once our mindset changes, we will be pretty darn good," Hiltz said.
Garden City hit just .181 and had just 29 total digs. Swan led the way with 11 kills.
The Broncbusters are back in action on Wednesday night at home against Butler. Match time is set for 6 p.m.