Winning streak at five as Tigers knock off Pittsburg State, 3-1

FHSU Sports Information

Fort Hays State Volleyball rolled to its fifth straight victory on Saturday, taking down Pittsburg State, 3-1 (25-8, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20) at Gross Memorial Coliseum.

FHSU (12-12, 6-9 MIAA) climbed back to the .500 mark in overall play, and is just one conference win short of tying the school record for MIAA wins in a season.

The Tigers started the match on an 8-0 tear and never looked back in the first set, grabbing a 1-0 lead over PSU with a 25-8 set win. Later in the set, up 15-5, Fort Hays State broke out with six unanswered to climb out to a 16-point lead (21-15). The set closed on a 4-0 run for FHSU, including three straight kills by Mallory Flagor.

In the second frame, tied 4-4, FHSU grabbed the lead for good with a 5-1 run to lead by four (9-5). After Pitt State answered to cut the lead to one (11-10), the Tigers started on a 7-2 run to regain control, 18-12. That six-point separation was all Fort Hays State needed, taking the set, 25-20.

Out of the break, FHSU fell behind early (12-5), and though they climbed back to within one (14-15 and 15-16), couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 25-20 in the set.

FHSU again started hot in the fourth set, up 3-0, but later in the match, up 10-8, allowed a 5-0 run by the Gorillas that forced a Tigers’ timeout, down 13-10. After the reset, FHSU clawed back into contention, scoring four unanswered at 13-15 to reverse the two-point lead into the Tigers’ favor. From there, the teams battled towards an 18-all tie before FHSU strung together another 4-0 run, taking command at 22-18. FHSU closed out the set, 25-20, and clinched the match.

Callie Christensen paced the Tigers with a red-hot .846 hitting percentage, racking up 11 kills with eight blocks (one solo).

Flagor led the team with 15 kills on the afternoon, second on the team with four blocks. Rebekah Spainhour, who had 11 kills, was one of three Tigers to add three blocks for the match, joining Sara Hewson (six kills) and Taylor Mares (nine kills) in that category.

Defensively, Keanu Bradley posted her 11th 20-dig performance of the season, tallying 24 for the game, ahead of Hewson’s 13 digs and Raegan Vanderplas’ 12 digs. Vanderplas had the team lead in assists (22), just ahead of Kelsey Broadwell’s 21 assists.

The Tigers continue their home stand on Tuesday (Oct. 28) for their annual Pass, Set, Pink Night against No. 6 Nebraska-Kearney. FHSU nearly upset the Lopers earlier this season in Kearney, Neb., falling in five sets to the nationally ranked squad. Game time on Tuesday is set for 7 p.m.

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