HAYS - 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).