Nothing came easy for the Hutchinson High School volleyball team on Tuesday night in a home triangular with Derby and Salina South.


Hutchinson coach Maria Aikins believes that is what you can expect every night this season inside the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I.


"Right night our league is so good, we have to respect every opponent we play," Aikins said. "It comes down to the little things, and we have to work on the little things in practice and hope it shows up in game time."


Hutchinson entered Tuesday’s triangular with an 8-0 record and a No. 10 ranking in 6A. The undefeated season quickly ended in a straight-set defeat to Derby, but the Salthawks showed determination and guts in a three-set win over Salina South to conclude the triangular.


"Sometimes you have to bounce back, and tonight showed we need to work on our defense in practice," Aikins said.


Derby defeated Hutchinson 25-17, 25-19 in the first match.


In the opening set, the Panthers jumped out to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. Hutchinson called timeouts down 14-7 and 20-12, but couldn’t reach striking distance.


The second set began with an 11-11 tie, but from there Derby turned it up a notch. An 8-2 run gave Derby a 19-13 lead, which was eventually the difference in the set.


Delivering Hutchinson its first loss of the season was a point of emphasis for Derby.


"It was a big deal when we were preparing for Hutchinson to be the first team to beat them," Derby coach Shelby Kraus said. "It’s also a league match, so that’s important, as well."


Now that the Salthawks have the first loss under their belt, Aikins hopes it will relieve any added pressure that comes with being undefeated.


"Our girls were pretty upset after the loss because we have a competitive group, but at the same time I think we came out a little timid," Aikins said. "They have high expectations for themselves, and sometimes that can get in the way of being in the moment."


Hutchinson responded with a dominant first-set win over Salina South in the final match. The Salthawks led 12-3 at the beginning and cruised to a 25-14 win.


The second set was much closer and was tied at 14 midway through. When Hutchinson took a 20-17 lead, the Cougars answered back with a 4-1 run to tie it at 21.


An ace from Elyse Howard put the Salthawks up 24-23, but South won three straights points to steal the second set.


"Salina South is a good defensive team — they’re scrappy," Aikins said. "That’s what volleyball is all about."


The deciding third set found itself tied at 12 midway through. A 4-0 Hutchinson run was answered with a 6-2 South run to tie the set at 18.


Aikins called a timeout with Hutchinson up 23-22, and the Salthawks came out of the timeout by winning the final two points for a 25-14, 24-26, 25-22 victory.


"Salina South is much improved," Aikins said. "You have to respect our league from top to bottom."


Derby defeated South 25-17, 18-25, 25-20 to round out the triangular.


"We have a JV setter setting on varsity right now," Kraus said. "It’s a brand-new lineup right now, and I think we did pretty good with the adjustments."


Hutchinson is now 9-1 on the season and is in action this Saturday at Maize for a tournament.