Red Devils rebound to down Hesston

A back-and-forth opening set that ultimately ended in favor of the visitors did little to spoil Allen Community College's home-opener Wednesday. The Red Devils took the next three sets to defeat Hesston on the volleyball court.



August 26, 2021 - 8:51 AM

Allen Community College’s Gabriela Dominguez receives the ball in a match against Hesston Wednesday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Allen Community College’s volleyball team bounced back Wednesday from a bitterly disappointing start.

The Red Devils came up empty on six consecutive attempts to serve up a first-set victory, before three straight errors led to Hesston’s 31-29 win.

Allen rebounded from there, improving in each of the next three subsequent sets, winning 25-17, 25-5 and 25-12 to secure the 3-1 victory.

While head coach Whitney Shaw was pleased with the win, she was anything but satisfied with her team’s play.

“It was a little lackluster,” she said. “We’ve done much better in practice and in our other matches thus far. We came out way too comfortable, and we made a lot of errors. I think we overestimated our abilities and under-estimated theirs.”

The first set featured a number of wild momentum swings, with Allen jumping in front 10-6, Hesston rattling off a 12-5 run to lead 18-15 and then the Larks scoring three straight points to go up 20-17.

Hesston led 23-30 when Allen’s Aurivette Santos notched a kill, Solia Otero followed with an ace, and two straight Lark errors gave ACC a 24-23 lead, and a golden opportunity to serve for the final set point.

But a service error allowed Hesston to even the score without lifting a finger.

Allen’s Emma Adams followed with a kill, but this time Hesston responded with a kill to knot the score at 25-25.

So, the pattern continued.

Gabriela Dominguez, Sadie Bakeberg and Santero each had kills for Allen, but the Larks had responses after each.

Then, with Allen up 29-28, two straight points went to Hesston after Allen kill attempts went out of bounds. Then, with Hesston up 30-29, Allen was called for an illegal hit, awarding the point and set to the Larks.

Allen Community College’s Emma Adams goes up for a kill attempt in the Red Devils’ 3-1 set victory. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

“We had too many service errors, and too many serve-receive errors,” Shaw said.

ALLEN didn’t let the disappointment linger, taking control midway through the second set. Madison Saia’s block at the net pushed the Red Devils on top 19-11, and eventually secured the win off of a Hesston error.

By then, momentum had clearly swung in Allen’s direction as Dominguez and Bethany Williams took control at the net.