WARRENSBURG, Mo. - The Fort Hays State volleyball team kept pace with 5th-ranked Central Missouri Saturday evening, but the Jennies managed to do just enough to defeat the Tigers in three sets (22-25, 19-25, 24-26).
The Tigers kept things close in almost every statistical category, with the Jennies picking up just four more kills, 46-42, one more ace, 5-4, one more block, 7-6, and six more digs, 69-63. But the biggest discrepancy was in attack errors, with the Tigers posting 21 and UCM recording just 14. The Jennies finished the evening with a .237 attack percentage while holding FHSU to a .147 swing rate.
The score was tied three times in the opening frame, including as late as 6-6 before UCM scored four in a row to take control. The Jennies later led by as many as seven, but a 4-0 run helped the Tigers close within three, 20-17. Isabelle Reynolds opened the run with a kill, with Olivia Hessman and Emily Ellis adding kills to cap it off. UCM bounced back to reach set point at 24-20 before the Tigers scored twice on an Ellis kill and a Jaden Daffer service ace to stay alive.
The Jennies led wire-to-wire in the second set, scoring the first six points to take control in a hurry. The Tigers closed within three, but could not manage to get any closer than that. UCM appeared to be destined for a blowout up 19-8, but the Tigers then went on a 10-4 run to close within five, 23-18.
UCM scored the first four points in the third set before the Tigers bounced back to take their first lead of the evening at 8-7. FHSU led as late as 12-11, but then the Jennies took over with a 12-4 run to make the score 23-16. Later, facing match point at 24-17, the Tigers prolonged things by scoring seven in a row to tie the score at 24. Riley Tinder opened the run with a kill before Morgan Christiansen recorded three kills in a row. Christiansen then teamed up with Hessman for a block to make the score 24-22. Jaida Felix added a service ace to make it a one-point deficit before Tinder tied things up with another kill. Central Missouri finally got over the hump with back-to-back blocks, finishing off the sweep, 26-24.
Christiansen led the Tigers with 10 kills and three blocks. Tinder tallied eight kills, seven digs and two blocks. Jaden Daffer totaled a team-high 25 digs and two service aces. Elysia Glowacz distributed 17 assists, with Hessman adding 14 assists, four kills and one block.
Fort Hays State is now 8-9 on the year and 2-6 in conference play, while the Jennies improve to 14-2 overall and 7-1 in league action.
The Tigers will look to complete the season sweep of Emporia State on Monday evening (Oct. 11) beginning at 6 p.m. in Emporia. It will be the first contest on a Monday for the Tigers since 2013.