The Hastings College volleyball team already has accomplished a lot this season under new head coach Matt Buttermore:
A berth to the NAIA national tournament for the first time since 2006. A regular-season Great Plains Athletic Conference championship after going 16-0.
But there’s still plenty left on the table for the NAIA No. 8 Broncos in 2012.
The team opens play Tuesday at the NAIA national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, against MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at 8:30 p.m. — the first of three pool play matches Tuesday through Thursday.
The team has had a welcoming but bittersweet break since its last contest, a heartbreaking five-set loss to Doane in the GPAC tournament championship match back on Nov. 10.
HC had a good enough season to earn a first-round bye to the NAIA national tournament, securing a spot as one of the final 24 teams, and Buttermore said that his team has taken advantage of the extra time off.
“That last game, I don’t know if it’s on (the players’) mind or not. Personally, I think the break has been pretty good. We were able to rest up these last two weeks,” the coach said. “We’ve been able to work on some things that we haven’t worked on in a while. It was a good thing for us.”