Tigers need five sets but defeat Lindenwood, 3-2; Tie school record for conference wins

Fort Hays State University needed five games, but picked up a 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 22-25, 15-8) win over Lindenwood on Saturday evening.
The win moved FHSU (13-13, 7-10 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association) back to .500 overall, and tied the Tigers’ previous school record for conference wins as members of the MIAA. FHSU had seven conference wins in 2012 (the previous record). Additionally, the victory was the first over Lindenwood for head coach Kurt Kohler.FHSU controlled the first two sets, cruising to a 2-0 lead before dropping the next two sets.In the first, tied 6-6, FHSU rolled to three quick points (9-6), pulling away for good. Soon after, FHSU stretched the lead to five (19-14). The Lions shrunk the lead back to three (20-17), but FHSU hung on, ending the set, 25-18, on a service ace from Teresa Wade.

The Tigers took a 5-2 lead in the second set and never looked back, though LWU stayed close. Throughout the set, FHSU put together one 4-0 run, one 3-0 run and four stretches of two quick unanswered points to remain in control. Leading 20-17, a kill from Mallory Flagor started FHSU’s final run of the second set (3-0) that moved them to within two of set point, 23-17. Though LWU climbed back to three (24-21), an attack error gave FHSU the set, 25-21.

Out of the intermission, the Tigers grabbed a 3-0 lead, stretching it to seven (9-2) soon after. LWU, however, recovered to tie it, 13-all. The teams traded points until 21-21 before two points for LWU gave the visitors breathing room. FHSU dropped the set, 25-23.

The teams were again even throughout the fourth set, but a late run for LWU tied the match, 2-2, after a 25-22 set win for Lindenwood.

In the final set, FHSU used two kills from Callie Christensen and a Raegan Vanderplas service ace to take a 3-0 lead. Despite the Lions tying it, 3-3, a 3-0 run for the Tigers put them back on top for good. After the switch, the Tigers went on a 5-0 run (13-0) to put LWU away for good. A kill from Mares closed the match, 15-8.

Five Tigers hit double-digits in kills, led by Mares’ 15. Flagor and Rebekah Spainhour each had 12 kills, while Christensen had 11. Sara Hewson picked up a double-double on the night with 10 kills and 12 digs.

Keanu Bradley paced the squad with 32 digs, while Teresa Wade added 13 and Vanderplas had 12 assists to go along with a team-high 34 assists. Kristin Conor was second on the team with 27 assists.

Senior Day for the Tigers is Sunday versus No. 21 Central Missouri. Seniors Kelsey Broadwell, Sara Hewson, Taylor Mares and Student Assistant Coach Kelsey Darnell will be recognized postgame.

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