FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT
TOPEKA, Kan. – The Fort Hays State volleyball team was unable to bounce back after dropping a hard-fought first set against No. 17 Washburn on Saturday, falling in straight sets (25-22, 25-21, 25-12). The Tigers are now 16-5 overall and 4-4 in MIAA play, while the Ichabods improve to 16-4 overall and 7-1 in the conference.
The ‘Bods outhit FHSU in the match, .310 to .141. Rebekah Spainhour led the team with 14 kills to just two errors for a .444 attacking percentage. Crystal Whitten added 10 kills and seven digs, while Kailey Klibbe led the way defensively with 20 digs. Senior setter Hannah Wagy recorded 28 assists in the contest, adding six digs and one kill.
The fate of the first set was up in the air for the majority of the frame, with neither team being able to pull away. There were 18 ties and six lead changes in the frame. Both sides were within one point until three-straight points from the Tigers gave them a 13-11 advantage, prompting a Washburn timeout. Fort Hays State couldn’t hold the lead for much longer with the home team leveling the score at 15. The teams once again traded jabs, staying within one point until the Ichabods extended a 21-19 lead on a Callie Christensen attack error. The Tigers had one more rally in them, scoring three of the next four to tie the score once again at 22. A service ace and two Ichabod kills gave WU the final three points and the first set victory.
The Tigers appeared to shake off the loss after scoring eight of the first 12 points in the second set, but the Ichabods quickly turned it around to tie the set at 10 with a 6-2 run. Later in the set, a Washburn attack error brought the Tigers within one, 20-19, but the Ichabods scored five of the last seven points to secure the 25-21 victory.
The Ichabod offense came out of the locker room very strong, taking a seven-point lead after scoring 11 of the first 15 points in the frame. Another six-point run for Washburn stretched the lead to 13, 18-5. A Whitten kill managed to hold off one set point, but the Ichabods ended the match on the next serve with a powerful kill from their offensive leader, Sarah Vicory.
The Tigers will take a break from conference play this week when they host Oklahoma-Panhandle State and Northwestern Oklahoma State for a pair of non-conference matches on Tuesday, October 11. The Tigers will face off with OPSU at 3 p.m. before the two Oklahoma schools duel at 5 p.m. Fort Hays State will return to the floor at 7 p.m. to play NWOSU. Tuesday is the program’s annual Pass, Set, Pink night, and anyone wearing pink will receive FREE admission to all three matches.