CHADRON – Coming off a tough loss against UCCS on Thursday night, the Chadron State College volleyball team opened up its first home arena on Friday against the South Dakota Mines Hardrockers with a sweeping win, 3-0. The Eagles’ Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record moved to 1-1.
Mines fell to 0-1 in its season opener.
The Eagles won the first point in the match and took a brief lead in the first set. It was back and forth for a few points and the Hardrockers found themselves tied at 9-9. The tie did not last long, however.
At 11-14, the tide changed for the Eagles and they solidly regained the lead. Though the largest lead of eight points came at 17-25, the away team would not get within two points for the remainder of the first set.
Blocking was huge for Chadron State early on and proved to help them win the set. Similar blocking also proved to help them later on.
Set two proved to be a challenge for all.
The Eagles scored the first point and would take a lead that would last until 3-9 when the opponents slowly made a comeback.
After losing control of their seven-point lead, the Hardrockers tied the game up at 18-18 and 20-20. At 21-20, the visitors took their first lead of the night, but it would not last long. A back and forth ensued.
Leads volleyed back and forth as many times as the ball itself, it seemed.
It took extra points to determine the winner of set two. Although Chadron State maintained the lead during the extra points, South Dakota Mines did not give up, tying it twice at 25-25 and 26-26.
A crucial point for the set was the kill by Alexia Hurtado, winning it for the Eagles 26-28.
A fight for the lead was no surprise early in the third set. The Eagles won the first point but soon had to come back from a scoring deficit, which they did multiple times.
Chadron State retook the lead at 10-10 and controlled it soundly with SDSMT failing to reach striking distance after that.
CSC boasted its largest lead of eight at 15-23 and 16-24 until it won the final set and match at 25-17.
The Eagles not only won every set of the match, they scored first in each set.
Impact players for CSC include Alexia Hurtado with 15 points, 32 total attacks and a set winning kill, Olivia Moten-Schell with 12 points, 12 kills (tied with Hurtado) and 20 total kills, Chandler Hageman with eight and a half points, 13 total attacks, and seven kills, and Amelia Berg with six kills, seven digs, and 12 total attacks.
Other players of note are Karli Noble and Rhiannon Nez, each of whom played in all three sets. Noble had 16 digs and three service aces while Nez had eight points, five blocks, five kills, and four block assists.
The CSC women’s volleyball team will next face CSU-Pueblo on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. at the Chicoine Center.