The last thing Hastings College wanted Saturday was a letdown after one of its biggest wins during Alex Allard’s three years at the helm.
The Broncos, who beat No. 3 Midland Wednesday, cruised through the first two sets of their match against Briar Cliff and jumped out to another healthy lead in set three before the Chargers did as their moniker suggests to nearly overflow into a fourth game.
While the result of the match — a Hastings win by scores of 25-14, 25-14, 25-23 — never seemed in doubt, Allard wanted reassurance that Saturday’s match wouldn’t equate to the week prior on the road at Mount Marty when the Broncos — then riding a thrilling win over No. 10 College of St. Mary — slipped up against the Lancers (7-13, 1-9) in five sets, giving them their only conference win this season.
At the very least, Allard just didn’t want her team to play an extra set if it didn’t have to.
As Briar Cliff called its final timeout, Allard relayed that message.
The coach referenced the Oct. 1 match in Yankton, S.D. How her team entered the gym with the mindset that Mount Marty’s record didn’t warrant the same respect as College of St. Mary.
Well, Allard said, the Broncos, in essence, got what they deserved with their effort that day: a loss they can learn from.
“If we don’t show up, any of the teams in the GPAC can beat us,” Allard said.
The lesson was evident Saturday, even late in that third set.
Briar Cliff trailed 12-7 early. Then, three points way from returning to campus in Sioux City, Iowa, having been swept, found a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Following that timeout which appeared at first to merely postpone the result, the Chargers outscored Hastings 3-1 to reach a 22-23 deficit.
Allard was still reluctant to pause play for the first time all day, even with the scare. She trusted her girls would come together in the right moment. And they did.
Freshman Haylee Sandman found the floor and senior Amani Monroe registered a block for match point.
Sandman, appearing in just her third match of the season, was one of a handful to come off the bench for the Broncos in the match after the domination through sets one and two.
Hastings led 7-3 at the start behind two of Emma Foote’s three aces. After the Chargers climbed back to 15-11, the Broncos ended the opening set on a 10-3 run. Sydney Mullin tallied two of her three blocks during the run. Grace Branson scored three kills. Monroe ended it on an overpass.
HC jogged to the finish with a similar run in the second set. Leading 15-10 after Foote’s third ace, the Broncos poured on a 10-4 run with the final five points on the service of libero Ireland Currey, who celebrated her 22nd birthday over the weekend.
Miriam Miller took over second place in the team kills category with nine on Saturday and the freshman hit .750 against the Chargers’ block.
Makenna Asher dished 16 assists and dug eight attacks.
Hastings visits No. 13 Dakota Wesleyan on Friday and undefeated and top-ranked Jamestown Saturday.
BC (7-13, 1-8)....................14 14 22
HC (14-8, 5-5)....................25 25 25
Briar Cliff (kills-aces-blocks)
Toria Andre 6-0-3, Chloe Johnson 7-1-0, Tyra Blue 5-0-0, Taryn Nothem 3-0-1, Maureen Imrie 2-1-0, Sami Wasmund 2-0-0, Peyton Preston 1-0-0, Madilyn Wagaman 2-0-0, Abbey Jones 1-0-0, Abbie Ericson 0-0-1, Kailee Tucker 0-0-0, Jace Johnson 0-0-0, Jo Sadler 0-0-0, Jaylen Bork 0-0-0, Tannah Heath 0-0-0. Totals: 28-2-3.
Assists: Wagaman 10, Imrie 9, Jones 2, Heath 2, Andre 1. Digs: 39 (Sadler 11).
Miriam Miller 8-2-0, Grace Branson 7-0-4, Makenna Asher 6-1-2, Amani Monroe 5-0-2, Sydney Mullin 4-0-3, Jaisee Stinson 3-2-0, Emma Foote 0-3-0, Dacey Sealey 2-0-0, Haylee Sandman 2-0-0, Ireland Currey 0-2-0, Ava Lovitt 0-1-0, Acelyn Klein 0-0-0, Majesta Valasek 0-0-0. Totals: 37-11-6.
Assists: Asher 16, Stinson 15, Currey 2, Foote 1, Branson 1. Digs: 40 (Currey 11).