The Hesston College volleyball team saw its season end with a loss to Coffeyville (Kan.) CC in the first round of NJCAA Region VI postseason action on Saturday, Nov. 7. Despite the setback, Lark fans look back on another outstanding season by Hesston Volleyball and Head Coach Jessica Cleveland.
The Larks went 21-12 in 2015, with seven of its losses coming to nationally-ranked opponents. This is the second year in a row Hesston has topped the 20-win mark. Sophomores Christy Swartzendruber (Shickley, Neb.) and Casey Perez (Kalona, Iowa) were named first-team all-Region players, while freshman Kortney Cunningham (Almena, Kan.) earned second-team honors.
Swartzendruber demonstrated her versatility by breaking the single season digs mark (552) from her outside hitter position, while Perez racked up 960 assists (3rd all-time) in 2015 for a career total of 1,700, good for 2nd all-time.
The Larks were dealt a heavy blow with a season-ending knee injury in early September to sophomore leader and key middle hitter Karli Rodriguez (Harker Heights, Texas). Cleveland cited strong team chemistry and sophomore leadership as main reasons the Larks were able to weather the storm and keep moving forward despite the loss.
“There are many highlights to our 2015 season,” Cleveland said. “The team really came together early and developed an amazing bond. It was fun to watch and I’m very proud of this team on and off the court. This is a season to never forget.”