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MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 PM

Tigers win ninth straight -10/24/2014, 11:03 AM

TMP seeks first win, travels to Russell -10/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS, TMP play to scoreless draw -10/24/2014, 10:26 AM

Hays' Fleharty among Tigers' Hall of Fame inductees -10/24/2014, 10:17 AM

Tigers set for No. 10 Bearcats -10/24/2014, 10:17 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Tigers more focused on opponents, not rankings

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Tigers more focused on opponents, not rankings

Published on -4/18/2013, 10:12 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Last weekend, second-year Fort Hays State University softball coach Erin Kinberger was upset after her team went 2-2 against Missouri Southern State University and Pittsburg State University, two .500 teams. Among other things, Kinberger and junior third baseman Danie Brinkmann were displeased the Tigers had focused too much on rankings.

"Focusing on what some other teams are doing in the conference instead of focusing on the game at hand. Like one game at a time. A 'W' against Pitt is just as good as a 'W' against (top 25) Missouri Western," Brinkmann said. "It's no extra weight unfortunately."

On Wednesday, the Tigers dropped four spots to No. 18 in NCAA Division II. However, the first release of the more important poll, the Central regional rankings, had FHSU No. 1. The top two squads in each region host four-team pods. The Tigers stand at 35-7 overall, 32-4 in in-region games.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University ranks second at 36-7, 35-7 in region, while Minnesota State-Mankato is third and University of Central Oklahoma stands fourth. One of the reasons for FHSU's top ranking is a 7-0 mark against teams in the top 10 in the regional rankings.

One more victory will set the school record for wins. The Tigers finished 35-20 in 2003.

"A lot of athletes will show up and be afraid to make a mistake," Kinberger said. "We practice day in and day out to take risks, to put it all on the line and let the chips fall where they fall. We are not doing that right now. We are not coming out here and putting everything on the line. We are hesitant."

In conference play, FHSU is 15-3, two games back of UCO. The Tigers' three conference losses have come against Northeastern State (Okla.) University, in fifth place, and Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State. The Lions are 11th in the league and PSU is ninth.

Fort Hays has four MIAA doubleheaders left before the postseason, all against teams in the mid to lower tier. On Friday, the Tigers travel to University of Central Missouri (20-18, 10-10 MIAA). On Saturday, Fort Hays plays at Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University (4-38, 0-18 MIAA). Game time is 3 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.

"We just need to focus more in the moment," Brinkmann said.

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