Volleyball powers past Pitt State

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

The Fort Hays State volleyball team completed a weekend sweep after defeating Pittsburg State in straight sets on Saturday (Oct. 16), 25-23, 25-21, 25-23. The Tigers are now 10-10 on the year and 4-7 in MIAA play, while Pittsburg State dips to 11-8 overall and 5-6 in conference action.

Fort Hays State controlled the match almost all afternoon, with Pittsburg State only holding the lead once early in the second set. The Tigers totaled 46 kills and posted an attack percentage of .219 on the day while holding PSU to a .128 swing rate thanks to nine total blocks.

The Tigers looked to middle hitters Emily Ellis and Morgan Christiansen early and often in the match, with the duo combining for six kills and four blocks in the opening set alone before finishing the match with 21 kills and nine blocks. After totaling 12 kills in Friday’s sweep of Missouri Southern, Christiansen again led the team with 15 kills alongside five blocks (one solo) on Saturday. The Lincoln, Neb. native posted an incredibly efficient .591 attack percentage for the week thanks to 27 kills and just one error on 44 attempts.

Fort Hays State raced out to a 4-0 lead before adding three of the next four to quickly lead 7-1 in the opening set, prompting a PSU timeout. The Gorillas managed to close within four midway through the set before a 6-1 run stretched the lead to nine, 17-8. Fort Hays State appeared to be running away with the set, up 22-15, before the Gorillas stormed back with an 8-2 run to close within one, 24-23. But Ellis took care of business and slammed the door, delivering a kill off a pass from Elysia Glowacz to secure the set.

Pittsburg State led by as many as three early in the second set before FHSU stormed in front for good when an eight-point lead turned a 10-8 deficit into a 16-10 advantage. The visitors closed within three late in the set, but they ran out of time after Christiansen delivered the final kill, clinching the set 25-21.

The Tigers came out of the locker room on a mission, scoring the first five points to take complete control. Isabelle Reynolds opened the set with a kill before Claire Olson tallied kills on back-to-back rallies. Reynolds capped off the run with a service ace, prompting a Gorilla timeout. Fort Hays State steadily built the lead up to nine, 21-12, but the visitors had one final push in them. Pittsburg State stormed back within one with a 9-1 run, including seven-straight points to make the score 22-21. The teams traded points the rest of the way, with Mykah Eshbaugh delivering the final blow to seal a 25-23 third-set victory.

Reynolds was second on the team with seven kills while four Tigers added six kills, including Eshbaugh, Ellis, Olson and Riley Tinder. Five of Olson’s six kills came in the third set.

Glowacz led the Tigers with 24 assists and added seven digs, with Olivia Hessman totaling 17 assists and seven digs. Libero Jaden Daffer led the Tigers with 17 digs while adding one service ace and one assist. Reynolds added 12 digs, three blocks and a team-high two service aces.

The Tigers will be on the road Tuesday (Oct. 19) to face off with No. 1 Washburn before returning home for a pair of matches next weekend. FHSU will first look for the season sweep of Newman on Friday (Oct. 22) beginning at 6 p.m. before hosting Central Oklahoma at 3 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 23).

Friday

The Fort Hays State volleyball team made quick work of Missouri Southern on Friday (Oct. 15), cruising past the Lions in straight sets, 25-17, 25-16, 25-15. Fort Hays State dominated in virtually every category, nearly doubling up the Lions in kills, 45-24. The Tigers are now 9-10 on the year and 3-7 in MIAA play, while Missouri Southern dips to 3-16 overall and 0-9 in league action.

The Tigers dominated at the middle of the net, with Emily Ellis and Morgan Christiansen combining for 19 kills and just one error. Christiansen led the team with 12 kills and zero errors on 18 attempts, posting a .667 attack percentage, while Ellis added seven kills and a swing rate of .429.

Missouri Southern led by as many as four early in the first set before FHSU got to work. Down 8-4, the Tigers scored 11 of the next 13 points to jump in front by five, 15-10. That run was capped off by six-straight points from the Tigers, including back-to-back kills from Ellis and a service ace from Elysia Glowacz. Christiansen later capped off the 25-17 win with her third kill of the set.

The Lions grabbed the first point of the second set before FHSU took control, scoring eight of the next nine to take an 8-2 lead. Missouri Southern managed to close within four on two occasions, but the Tigers had an answer for any small Lion run. Isabelle Reynolds took over for the Tigers in the second set, recording six kills in the frame, just three fewer than the entire MSSU lineup combined.

The Tigers continued to score in chunks in the third set, piling on the points while swinging a match-high .378 as a team (17-3-37). Christiansen helped the Tigers bring things to a close with six kills on nine attempts in the final set.

Reynolds recorded a double-double after finishing with 10 kills and 13 digs alongside two blocks (one solo). Riley Tinder added six kills and a team-high 18 digs, while Claire Olson added five kills. Elysia Glowacz totaled 18 assists and one service ace, while Olivia Hessman racked up 15 assists, three digs and two kills.

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