Tigers fend off pesky Rangers for victory

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

Fort Hays State picked up its second win of the weekend on Sunday (Sept. 19) by holding off Northwestern Oklahoma State in a non-conference contest. The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match, but after the Rangers took set three the Tigers pulled out a tight set four to move to 7-4 on the season. NWOSU dropped to 1-10 overall.

NWOSU made a habit of sticking around in each set and made things interesting at the end of the first, third, and fourth sets. FHSU built a 14-8 lead in the first set only to see it whittle all the way down to one point at 22-21 and 23-22 before NWOSU drew even at 23-23. A service error by the Rangers and then a service ace by Riley Tinder notched the first set in the Tigers’ favor. Tinder put down seven kills in the opening frame.

The Tigers kept the Rangers at arm’s length for the majority of the second set and outscored the Rangers 12-8 over the final 20 points of the set to win by five. Isabelle Reynolds led the Tigers in the set with five kills.

The Rangers found energy once again late in the third set and snuck by the Tigers to force a fourth set. FHSU led 15-10 before seeing NWOSU storm back and tie the match four times. The Rangers finally pushed past the Tigers at 22-21 and won four of the final five points in the set to win 25-22.

The fourth set was a battle with 11 ties and five lead changes. NWOSU led 23-22 before the Tigers ran off the last three points to win the set 25-23, avoiding a fifth and decisive set. Tinder put down her team-leading 18th kill of the match to tie the score at 23-23, then an attack error by the Rangers and an assisted block by Morgan Christiansen and Claire Olson ended the thrilling fourth set.

Joining Tinder (18) in double figures in kills overall were Reynolds (13) and Christiansen (10). Olson added eight kills and Emily Ellis had seven to go with seven blocks in the match. Christiansen matched Ellis in block count also with seven. Olson notched five blocks. Elysia Glowacz produced 25 assists, while Olivia Hessman added 21. Jaden Daffer led a balanced defensive effort with 17 digs. Reynolds (16) and Tinder (13) also reached double figures in digs to notch double-double efforts.

Addison Wimmer led the Rangers attack with 19 kills, though she also had a team-high 15 attack errors. Kaydee Honeycutt also reached double figures with 12 kills. Abby Davis had 25 assists and Abigail Burns added 18. Libero Tarra Parks put on a defensive show for the Rangers with 31 digs, averaging 7.75 per set in the match. Wimmer had 16 digs to notch herself a double-double.

The Tigers return to MIAA play on the road next weekend at Central Oklahoma (Friday) and Newman University (Saturday).

Saturday

The Fort Hays State volleyball team won a five-match thriller against Emporia State on Saturday (Sept. 18), rallying from two sets down to win its first conference match of the season (20-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 15-9). The Tigers are now 6-4 overall and 1-1 in MIAA play, while Emporia State dipped to 2-7 on the year and 0-2 in league action.

The Tigers jumped out to a comfortable lead in the first set, 9-4, before a big Hornet run put the visitors up by six, 18-12. Fort Hays State closed within four on multiple occasions, but ESU held on to take the first set, 25-20.

Roles were reversed in the second set, with Emporia State taking an early four-point lead at 10-6. The Tigers fought back to take a 17-16 lead, but ESU followed with a 6-1 run to regain the lead, 22-18. Fort Hays State would then score six of the next eight points to tie the match at 24-24. Riley Tinder opened the run with a kill before back-to-back spikes from Morgan Christiansen. Two more kills from Tinder and a combo block from Christiansen and Isabelle Reynolds knotted things up at 24, but Emporia State secured the next two points to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set featured 14 ties and two lead changes, with neither side leading by more than four. The teams traded punches through much of the set before FHSU scored four-straight to turn a 20-20 tie into a set point. Two Tinder kills and two Hornet errors put the Tigers on the brink of sealing the set, and four points later another kill from Tinder did just that, 25-23.

The Tigers made quick work of the Hornets in the fourth set, knotting things up after a decisive 25-16 win. Fort Hays State trailed 7-5 early, but used a 7-1 run to take a commanding 14-8 lead. The Tigers continued to pour it on, leading by as many as 10 at 22-12 before finishing off the win and forcing a fifth set.

Emporia State captured the first two points in the final frame before Fort Hays State scored four in a row to take the lead for good. A kill from Emily Ellis pushed the lead to 13-6 before Reynolds gave the Tigers their first chance at match point with a kill. The senior capped off the match with another kill three points later, capitalizing off a pass from Olivia Hessman.

The Tigers hit .187 as a team in the match while limiting Emporia State to a .111 attack percentage. The FHSU defense held the Hornets to a negative swing rate in each of the last two sets. Fort Hays State compiled 10 blocks as a team and tallied six service aces.

Tinder led the Tigers with 20 kills on 56 swings while adding a team-best 22 digs, two blocks and one service ace. Reynolds totaled 17 kills, 20 digs, four blocks and three service aces. Christiansen contributed nine kills and seven blocks, with Claire Olson picking up nine kills, three blocks and five digs. Elysia Glowacz totaled 27 assists and eight digs, while Hessman added 20 assists and four digs. Jaden Daffer totaled 21 digs in the win.

Friday

The Fort Hays State volleyball team was unable to overcome No. 3 Washburn Friday evening (Sept. 17), with the Ichabods pulling away in three sets, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20. The Tigers held leads in all three sets, but a few big runs by the visitors sealed the win for Washburn.

Fort Hays State is now 5-4 overall and 0-1 in MIAA play, while the Ichabods move to 9-1 on the year and 1-0 in league action.

Washburn created separation in the middle of the first set before the Tigers made a run to close the gap, but the Ichabods held on to secure a 25-19 win. Fort Hays State led as late as 10-8 in the second set, but a 7-1 Ichabod run gave the visitors the lead for good. The Tigers again hung around early in the third frame, leading as late as 9-8 before the Washburn scored five-straight to pull in front.

Claire Olson led the Tigers with 10 kills, posting a .450 attack percentage thanks to just one error. The freshman also added two blocks. Morgan Christiansen added eight kills, two blocks (one solo) and three digs. Isabelle Reynolds recorded seven kills, one service ace and one block, while Riley Tinder contributed six kills, one service ace and 10 digs.

Jaida Felix tossed up 20 assists alongside eight digs and two service aces, while Elysia Glowacz added 15 assists and four digs. Libero Jaden Daffer led the team with 18 digs.

The Tigers posted a .161 attack percentage, while Washburn sealed the match with a .310 swing rate. Both teams were even on defense, with Washburn collecting one more block (8-7) and one more dig (51-50).

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