STROMSBURG — In all three games, it was about 20 points in that the Heartland Huskies took control and the final scores in all three Heartland wins are proof of that.
Cross County kept things close early in each set, but Heartland always gained the upperhand midway through and took all three games by the finals of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-18.
The win moves the Huskies to 2-3 on the young season while the Cougars slip to 1-5 on the year.
Through the first 20 points in set one, the two teams were deadlocked at 10-10, after Heartland had fought back from a 10-7 deficit. The score stayed tied until 15-15 as a pair of ace serves from Laura Branting put the Cougars back up 13-10, but an Ashley Bittinger tip kill on the set and another from senior Sara Brune knotted the score back up at 15-15.
A kill from Ashton Kroeker and two Cross County receive errors gave the Huskies an 18-16 lead, and following a kill from Mikaelyn Dick and an ace serve from Jordan Bittinger, Cross County head coach Erica Twarling used her final time out of the set.
A 4-0 run with a set determining kill from Kroeker made it 1-0 in favor of the Huskies.
Heartland led 10-7 in the second set, and kills from Dick and Ashley Quiring sparked a 4-0 run that made it 14-7. Quiring finished with seven kills, while Dick hammered nine with an ace block while Kroeker was charted with six kills and two ace blocks.
The lead grew to 18-9, before the hosts pulled to within 23-17, but that would be as close as they would get.
The third set, Heartland led again 10-7, but this time the Cougars were able to keep the game close as Anderson slammed four of her team high 12 kills, while Branting and Michelle Klein picked up winners to cut the Heartland lead to 14-13.
Back to back ace serves from the Huskies Mattison Hiebner gave the Heartland girls some breathing room at 17-13, and after a missed return but the Huskies made it 17-14, heartland closed the match on an 8-4 run to win 3-0.
For the Cougars Branting was charted with six kills, Pallas chipped in with three kills and Klein also had three kills and one ace serve.
Heartland (2-3) is back in action Tuesday at Hampton, while the Cougars will host their Invite this weekend with High Plains, East Butler, Osceola and Sutton joining Cross County