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Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

HHS wrestling picks up dual win -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

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Indians pick up first-round win -1/23/2015, 10:22 AM

K-State agrees to series with Vandy -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women win 16th straight -- Pitt State next -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Huge second half fuels Tigers -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Shockers roll past Missouri State -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

KSU at Sporting Park? -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

GCCC women's team involved in crash -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

Tiger wrestling wins at home -1/22/2015, 10:33 AM

TMP girls survive and advance in MCL -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Choices for HHS swimmer -1/21/2015, 11:27 AM

Dodge City upends HHS girls -1/21/2015, 10:33 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/21/2015, 10:15 AM

Cyclones outlast Kansas State -1/21/2015, 10:06 AM

Tiger women enter Top 25 -1/20/2015, 2:31 PM

KBCA rankings, Jan. 18 -1/20/2015, 10:18 AM

Kansas State ready for first-place battle with ISU -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

Bill Self hopes President Obama will meet with team -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

Jayhawks rally for win over OU -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

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Prep tournament schedules -1/19/2015, 10:18 AM

TMP's Rhoades second in Scott City -1/19/2015, 10:18 AM

Jayhawks look to regroup -1/19/2015, 10:18 AM

Seattle pulls off a stunner -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

Kubiak to Broncos -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

Patriots run all over Colts to reach Super Bowl -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

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
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Hoagland keys 4-0 start for Tigers

Published on -9/7/2012, 10:07 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Tears form in Fort Hays State University sophomore middle hitter Kylee Hoagland's eyes as she thinks about her dad, Larry. Kylee and her dad bonded through volleyball. He came to every game and took her to every club volleyball practice that was 45 minutes away. Larry played volleyball himself and built a court at the family's home. Larry participated in sand and grass volleyball tournaments, including some with Kylee and her brother, Landan.

On July 23, Larry passed away at the age of 55 after a bout with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

"He is always going to be in my heart, and I am always going to be reminded of him every time I touch a volleyball," Hoagland said.

Hoagland, a returning all-MIAA honorable mention player, also practiced little in the preseason because of recurring knee issues. She was cleared to practice just a few days before FHSU's season-opening Oklahoma Panhandle State tournament last week. Hoagland played well as the Tigers started 4-0 for the first time since 2004. After two 3-0 victories, FHSU defeated Fort Lewis (Colo.) and Southern Arkansas 3-2.

"I always know that my dad and my mom always try to come to everything that they can and my mom is still going to try, and I know that my dad is going to be at every match with me," Hoagland said.

Hoagland finished with a team-high 2.94 kills and hit .279, second-best on the team (minimum 20 attacks). She and junior middle hitter Jenna Ulrich, also a returning all-MIAA honorable mention selection, led a strong blocking effort. Hoagland averaged 0.69 blocks per set, while Ulrich led with 1.25.

"She is a good player, and good players can refine a few things, but she knows what she is doing," fourth-year coach Kurt Kohler said of Hoagland. "She is very coachable, she is easy to work with, so it helps that we can create opportunities for her on the block. She doesn't have to be in every practice to still get good.

"She pays attention when she is sitting out, or asks the right questions, and she is always ready to do what we need her to do," he added. "She is going to have a great year for us and we are excited that she is back and ready to do what she can."

Sophomore Taylor Mares earned the starting job as the right side hitter and hit .253 with 32 kills. Junior Makenzie Weinman, starting for the first time at libero, paced the team with 5.25 digs per set. This weekend, FHSU travels to the Holiday Inn Crossroads Classic in Grand Junction, Colo. Fort Hays will play five matches, including three today. It's a step up in competition from last weekend, especially today. The three opponents are a combined 12-1, including No. 24 Grand Canyon University.

"Still have a lot of improvement to do," Kohler said. "We can't get cocky about it. I want the confidence, but not the cockiness. We've still got to come in and work hard everyday."

One of the pluses from last weekend was strong play in the fifth set. Last year, FHSU went 5-6 in five-set matches, but started 2-0 last weekend. Against Fort Lewis, Fort Hays started out with a 6-0 lead and rolled to a 15-7 victory. Southern Arkansas kept the fifth set close, but FHSU never trailed after 3-3 and won 15-12.

"Winning those last two five-game sets was huge for us," Hoagland said.

Hoagland, from Mead, Colo., always knew she was going to return to the team even after her dad passed away.

"I love volleyball, and it is my passion," she said.

She received plenty of support from her teammates, especially Weinman, during the difficult and emotional time.

"My teammates have been behind me this whole entire time and really supported me and helped me through it," Hoagland said.

Hoagland hit .409 with 12 kills in the season-opening match versus University of the Southwest and then delivered nine kills and a .600 hitting percentage versus Bacone College. Against Fort Lewis and Southern Arkansas, she combined for 26 kills and seven blocks.

"It's hard," Hoagland said. "That first match, it was hard not having my dad in the stands. I had a few little moments where I got teared up."

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