BY RAEGAN NEUFELD
PHOTOS BY MADISON SHAPLAND
The Fort Hays State volleyball team avenged their September 10 loss to Emporia State on Tuesday night, taking care of the Hornets in straight sets.
After suffering losses to #6 Nebraska-Kearney and #10 Northwest Missouri State last week, the Tigers, aided by a 9-0 run, won the first set against ESU 25-15. The Hornets were never behind by much in the next two sets, but FHSU ultimately had the edge and won 25-22 and 25-20. The win brings the Tigers’ record to 7-10 overall and 2-7 in conference play, while ESU drops to 4-14 and 1-8.
“Today we really wanted to focus on executing the game plan Coach is giving us, and executing the hitting and passing,” senior outside hitter Mykah Eshbaugh said. “We have all the pieces, today was just about putting everything together.”
The Tigers finished with 47 kills and a 21.6 hitting percentage, compared to 32 kills and an 11.0 hitting percentage from the Hornets. FHSU also bested their opponents in digs – 64 to 58 – and service aces – eight to three.
“Our conference brings a lot of energy, so the fact that we brought that tonight on an extra level says a lot about our team and where we’re heading,” Eshbaugh said.
Eshbaugh led the team in kills with 11, followed by Riley Tinder who had 10 and Emily Ellis who had nine. Tinder also had 16 digs, just behind Jaden Daffer who had 20. Ellis, Morgan Christiansen and Claire Olson each recorded three total blocks.
ESU was led by Leah Mach who had seven kills, and Riley Bernskoetter and Shelby Ebert who had 13 and 15 digs, respectively.
“[Our energy and confidence] were so important today,” Daffer said. “And they’ll continue to be, especially for the next two games this weekend.”
Eshbaugh shared the same sentiment.
“Something we’re going to take away from today is confidence, and our good communication,” she said.
Up next for FHSU are back-to-back games against Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State on Friday and Saturday. First serve against the MSSU Lions is set for 6:00 p.m. Friday.