H-BC's Hattie Van Wyhe fields a serve during Tuesday's volleyball opener in Luverne.
The Hills-Beaver Creek volleyball team made its 2013 debut Tuesday (Aug. 27) in Luverne.
Taking on a Luverne team that already had played one match, the Patriots started the night at a disadvantage.
The situation never evened out for the Patriots, who came up on the short end of a 3-0 decision.
The Patriots surrendered the first three points of the night and trailed 9-3 as the first set progressed.
Marissa Kracht trimmed the difference to four points (9-5) with an ace serve, but the Cardinals extended their lead to eight points (14-6) moments later.
H-BC pulled to within six points twice later in the set (14-8 after Madison Fick recorded a block and 18-12 when Fick served an ace), but the Cards outscored the Patriots 7-2 the rest of the set to prevail 25-14.
The Patriots fell behind 3-0 in the second set and slipped further out of contention when Luverne opened a 20-5 advantage.
A service point from Kracht made it a 13-point difference (20-7), but Luverne quickly expanded its lead to 23-7.
A five-point run ending with an ace serve from Fick made it a 23-12 tally, and the score was 24-16 when Megan Westrum recorded a service point.
A net violation on the Patriots ended the rally and gave LHS 25-16 set victory.
Kracht served the opening point of the third set to give the Patriots their first lead of the night.
H-BC trailed by one (6-5) when Kelli Esselink recorded a kill, but the Cards countered with a 9-1 run to open a 16-6 cushion.
A service point from Westrum pulled the Patriots to within three points of LHS (16-13), and H-BC trailed by two (17-15) when Jessica Sandbulte registered a service point.
Any momentum H-BC gained from the rally was erased when Luverne went on an 8-2 run to clinch a 25-17 victory.
Fick (four digs, three blocks and eight of nine serving with three aces), Westrum four set assists and 10 of 10 serving with three aces) and Esselink (four blocks and four kills) led the Patriots statistically.
Kracht charted six set assists and Hattie Van Wyhe recorded five digs for H-BC.
H-BC opens its home schedule by hosting Red Rock Central Sept. 5.