Volleyball News Archive 2016-2017

Larks fall to Blue Devils in Kansas City

The Hesston College volleyball team fell to nationally ranked Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) in three sets 19-25, 17-25, 22-25 in Kansas City Wednesday evening. The Larks are 6-8 overall.

The Larks showed some fight throughout, especially in the third frame, almost forcing a fourth set. The Blue Devils proved to be the tougher side on the night, holding on in the last set to win 3-0.

Volleyball returns home this weekend to host a triangular. The Larks will face Clarendon College at 10 a.m., followed by Pratt CC at 2 p.m. Both schools will look familiar to Hesston College as the Larks defeated Clarendon 3-1 and fell to Pratt 1-2 at the Vernon (Texas) tournament last month.

Volleyball finishes week strong with sweep of Indians

The Hesston College volleyball team finished out the week on a positive note enjoying a win on “white out” night at Yost Center; picking up their first three-set sweep of the season, over the visiting Indians from McCook (Neb.) CC 25-20, 25-19, 25-21.

The Larks controlled the net against McCook, a team that beat Hesston 3-0 last month at a tournament in McCook. Freshman RS Alicen Meysing (Goessel, Kan.), sophomore OH Jessanna Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) and sophomore MH Kortney Cunningham (Almena, Kan.) each contributed solo blocks while sophomore DS Emily McMichael (Fort Worth, Texas) led the serving with four aces and freshman OH Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) contributed two of the team’s nine over aces on the night.

“This week we made a lot of progress in working through weaknesses and minimizing our errors. We started working though a new lineup which gives us a stronger blocking presence, and it showed this week. It is really encouraging to see these girls starting to believe,” said Coach DeeDee Landes.

Larks volleyball (6-7) look to even their record on Wednesday Sept. 21, when they hit the road to take on Kansas City (Kan.) CC at 6:30 p.m.

Volleyball splits at McPherson Tri

The Hesston College volleyball team went 1-1 on Saturday at the McPherson College triangular.

Hesston began the day taking on the Swedes (JV) of Bethany College. After dropping the first set 24-26, the Larks responded by winning three consecutive sets: 25-13, 25-19, 29-27 to win the match and even their overall record at 5-5.

Sophomore Jessanna Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) and freshman Haley Unruh (Coldwater, Kan.) led the offense with 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Freshman Jessica Aguilar (Brownsville, Texas) led the serving with seven aces, with Jessanna Nebel contributing five and ophomore Kortney Cunningham (Almena, Kan.) adding four.

In the second match of the day, the Larks faced a tough task in the home team McPherson Bulldogs (JV). After starting strong and grabbing the first set 25-22, the Larks ran out of gas and lost the next three sets to McPherson 21-25, 19-25, 22-25. Jessanna Nebel put down 14 kills. Freshman Alicen Meysing (Goessel, Kan.) led the blocking effort for Hesston College.

The loss drops the Larks to a (5-6) overall record. They will have a chance to even their record when they travel to Concordia to take on Cloud County CC, Wednesday Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Larks volleyball returns to win column

The Hesston College volleyball team got a much needed win in four sets over the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan (JV) 28-26, 25-19, 21-25, 25-17 on Thursday night in Yost Center.

The Larks, coming off a tough string of matches this past week, were able to start strong, grabbing the first two sets over a feisty Coyotes squad. Kansas Wesleyan responded by winning set three 25-21 and forcing a fourth set. The Larks regained their momentum in the final frame to finish off KWU 25-17.

The win pushes the Larks to 4-5 overall. They return to action this weekend at noon on Saturday when they face Bethany College JV at the McPherson College Tri.

Volleyball shows sparks but comes up short in Nebraska

Larks volleyball returned to action Friday, Sept. 2, in Nebraska with a rapid-fire three games at the McCook CC Tournament.

Hesston College began the day taking on North Platte (Neb.) CC on the right foot picking up set one with a 25-14 win. The Lady Knights then responded to win sets two and three – 25-20 and 25-19. The Larks fell to McCook (Neb.) CC in three sets, and finished up falling 2-0 to Colby CC. It was a tough tournament for the Larks (3-4) coming off a strong showing last weekend in Texas.

Sophomore, Kortney Cunnighman (Almena, Kan.) led the charge on the day for the Larks with numerous blocks. Sophomore Jessanna Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) had 12 kills vs. McCook CC.

Larks volleyball returns to Hesston to host the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan (JV) Wednesday, Sept. 7. First serve will be at 6:30 p.m.

Brenneman signs with Hesston College Volleyball

Hesston College volleyball coach DeeDee Landes announces Kylie Brenneman, a 5’3″ defensive specialist from Hesston (Kan.) High School, as the latest member of the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class.

A three-sport letter-winner at Hesston High, Brenneman helped Hesston High Volleyball to a third-place finish at the state tournament her senior year. She was an all-Central Kansas League honorable mention selection and is a four-time member of the Principal’s Honor Roll. Brenneman will study business at Hesston College.

“Kylie is a great addition to our program,” Landes said. “I’m excited to see her adjust to the college game and contribute to our team. She’s a tremendous athlete who has the potential to make an early contribution to this year’s team.”

Brenneman attends Hesston (Kan.) Mennonite Church and is active in the youth group there. She is the daughter of Jim and Christy Brenneman, Hesston.

Swartzendruber, Hansen honored as Hesston College’s Top Student Athletes

Christy Swartzendruber, a sophomore women’s volleyball player, and Jake Hansen, a sophomore men’s basketball player, were named 2016 male and female Hesston College Student Athletes of the Year at the school’s annual Athletic Banquet.

Swartzendruber, Shickley, Neb., a two-time all-region player and Hesston Volleyball’s all-time leader in digs, was a huge contributor the last two seasons in which the Larks won 21 games each year.

“Playing volleyball at Hesston has allowed me to connect with people and broaden my friend circle,” Swartzendruber said. “Seeing how the community and the students came to support us was amazing. We had amazing team chemistry this year and I’m going to miss all the great times we had.”

Hansen, Effingham, Kan., was twice awarded the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. He contributed over 450 points and 300 rebounds in his career.

“Throughout my two years here I’ve been put in situations that have set me up for success,” Hansen said. “I’ve learned a good work ethic in the classroom and have a have a strong base to work from. The most important take away for me has been the family that I made with my teammates and also the friends I’ve made off the court.”

“Christy had a huge impact on our team on and off the court,” said coach DeeDee Landes. “She is well respected by her teammates and peers and is the epitome of a fantastic Hesston College student athlete.”

“Jake is a winner on and off the floor,” said Hesston coach Dustin Galyon. “He’s played a vital role in elevating our program. Jake was a captain this year and was a big part of our run to the national tournament as a freshman. More importantly, Jake is a phenomenal representative of our program and college. He is a selfless leader who has impacted many on our campus.”

Swartzendruber and Hansen succeed last year’s winners Samantha Rimann, Liberty Hill, Texas, and Malcolm Mann, Plano, Texas.

Volleyball adds more talent to incoming class

Hesston College volleyball coach DeeDee Landes announces Haley Unruh, a 5’10” middle hitter/blocker from South Central High School (Coldwater, Kan.), as the newest addition to the Hesston program.

A first-team all-league selection as a senior, Unruh was a key part of South Central’s sub-state championship in 2015. Aside from volleyball, she played varsity basketball and golf.

Unruh will study elementary education at Hesston. She has been named to the honor roll several times at South Central High.

“We’re excited to have Haley join our team,” Landes said. “She’s a versatile front-row player and is eager to take her volleyball skills to the next level. She has a strong work ethic and it will be fun to watch her grow as a player. Haley is a great addition to our team and campus.”

Unruh leads worship and teaches Sunday school at her church. She is the daughter of Wendell and Saundra Unruh, Wilmore, Kan.

Landes named new volleyball coach

Hesston College athletic director Rob Ramseyer introduces DeeDee Landes as head coach of the Larks volleyball program.

“We received a great deal of interest in this position,” Ramseyer said. “DeeDee emerged as our best candidate due to her commitment to the mission of Hesston College, care for students and her passion for the game of volleyball.”

Landes, a 2002 Hesston graduate, has served the program for the past three years as an assistant. She was an NJCAA All-American during her time on the court with the Larks.

“I’m so excited to be taking on this new venture,” Landes said. “I love the sport and look forward to building relationships and winning games.”

Landes succeeds Jessica Cleveland at the helm of a program coming off back-to-back 21-win seasons.

“Hesston College Volleyball is at an excellent place and I look forward to building from here,” Landes said. “I expect to bring players to Hesston that will fit both the mission of the college and the volleyball program.”

Larks sign all-state setter

Hesston College Volleyball announces Alyssa Booton, a 5’8″ setter from Goessel (Kan.) High School, as the latest member of the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class. Booton joins Goessel teammate Alicen Meysing in Hesston’s recruiting class.

A two-time first-team all-state setter, Booton was a three-time all-league performer at Goessel, helping the Bluebirds to a perfect 44-0 state-championship season in 2015. She holds the all-time assist record for the Goessel program.

Booton, a High Honor Roll student, will study nursing at Hesston. She is the daughter of Kelly and Jill Booton, Goessel.

Booton attends Hillsboro (Kan.) United Methodist Church.

Volleyball opens signing period by adding local talent

Hesston College volleyball coach Jessica Cleveland announces Alicen Meysing, a 6’0″ right-side hitter from Goessel (Kan.) High School, as the first member of the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class.

Meysing, a two-time second-team all-state and first-team all-league performer, brings height and athleticism to the net. She was selected to the Kansas Volleyball Association all-state tournament team the last two years and was a key part of an undefeated state champion Goessel High program in 2015.

A KVA all-Academic Team selection and Kansas Honors Scholar, Meysing will study journalism at Hesston College.

“We’re excited to announce Alicen’s addition,” Cleveland said. “She has a strong presence at the net and knows how to make big plays. Her spunky personality will add a fun and comical relief to the court. She comes from a strong program and knows how to win. We’re excited to get her in the gym.”

Meysing is the daughter of Greg and Darla Meysing, Goessel. She attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Newton, Kan.

Larks wrap up impressive 2015 season

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.”

Larks close regular season with comeback win

The Hesston College volleyball team won a five-set comeback match at Pratt (Kan.) CC on Tuesday, Nov. 2, closing out an impressive 21-11 regular season.

After splitting the first two sets (14-25, 25-20) Pratt took a 2-1 lead with a 25-23 third-set win. With its back against the wall, Hesston Volleyball responded with a dominating 25-12 fourth set before earning the win in a 15-12 final.

Kristi Swartzendruber (Shickley, Neb.) and Jessanna Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) had 12 and 11 kills, respectively, while Casey Perez (Kalona, Iowa) added six kills and racked up 42 assists.

Swartzendruber and Nebel also led the Hesston defense in digs with 27 and 21. Perez had 15 digs. Desi Newman (Archbold, Ohio) added 14.

The sixth seed in the upcoming Region VI tournament, the Larks face third-seeded Coffeyville (Kan.) CC at noon on Saturday, Nov. 7. The tournament is hosted by second-seeded Cowley College (Arkansas City).

Coffeyville edges Hesston in five-set thriller

The Hesston College volleyball team dropped a five-set match to seventh-ranked Coffeyville (Kan) CC on Wednesday, Oct. 28, snapping the Larks five-game winning streak.

Hesston came out strong and claimed the first set by a 27-25 count before the Ravens won 25-21 to even the match at 1-1. The teams traded 25-23 wins in the next two sets to force a fifth set, won by Coffeyville 15-8.

Despite the loss, Hesston Volleyball has built momentum as postseason play draws near, as Head Coach Jessica Cleveland has guided the Larks to consecutive 20-win seasons.

20-11 on the year, Hesston travels to Pratt (Kan.) CC for a 6:30 p.m. match on Monday, Nov. 2.

Volleyball picks up huge road win

The Hesston College volleyball team knocked off Neosho County CC (Chanute, Kan.) in four sets (25-22, 25-16, 19-25, 27-25) on Wednesday, Oct. 14 to improve to 16-10 on the year. The win lifts Hesston to 4-4 in Region VI play with two region matches remaining.

After winning the first two sets, Neosho responded with a third-set victory and took an early lead in the fourth. The Larks battled back and seemed on the cusp of the match win with a 24-21 lead before Neosho rallied with four straight points to put the Panthers ahead 25-24. A Neosho serve sailed long, however, giving the Larks the serve at 25-25. Hesston quickly put the set away to secured the road win.

Hesston returns home for a 6:30 match against Tabor College JV on Friday, Oct. 16. The Power of Pink match serves as a breast cancer awareness event with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.