Tiger volleyball at home this weekend
Published on -10/12/2012, 10:24 AM
By CONOR NICHOLL
Last year, the Fort Hays State University volleyball team ended a 32-match MIAA losing streak and 49-match losing skid to ranked opponents with a five-set home victory against Truman State (Mo.) University. The victory helped the Tigers finish 17-16, 5-13 in the MIAA for the first winning season since 2005.
A season later, the Tigers will play host to Lindenwood (Mo.) University and Truman State tonight and Saturday, respectively, at Gross Memorial Coliseum. Game time is 7 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. Saturday. While FHSU has virtually the same personnel from last year's victory against Truman State, it's a much different team.
Fort Hays stands at 18-6, 4-3 MIAA and already has won more matches than any previous fall under fourth-year coach Kurt Kohler. The Tigers are on a six-match winning streak, including a 3-1 home win against Missouri Western State University on Tuesday.
Lindenwood (12-8, 2-4 MIAA) is a conference newcomer this season after it was a strong NAIA school. The Lions have won the only all-time meeting between the schools, a 3-2 victory last year.
"They are going to be a hard team to beat, but we can do it," senior setter Kayla Zoglman said.
"Truman, they have got some amazing athletes," junior outside hitter Madison Schwartz said.
Truman State, a longtime national power, is 16-4, 5-2 MIAA. Fort Hays is 1-11 all-time against the Bulldogs with the lone victory coming last year.
Truman is currently tied for fourth place in the conference, while Fort Hays stands in sixth place.
"Lindenwood is a team that has struggled from time to time," Kohler said. "They looked very good this past weekend when we saw them at the
SBU tournament. Truman is just loaded with athletes, but we always seem to play them very close."
After Saturday, FHSU has eight MIAA matches left, many against the country's elite teams, such as University of Nebraska-Kearney,
Washburn University and University of Central Missouri. The MIAA tournament starts Nov. 13.
"Going down the stretch, we have got a very, very tough schedule and we need to get those wins early, so that when we start looking at head-to-head ties, that we end up winning that tie and get seeded a little higher," Kohler said.
"It would be fun to be able to host a conference tournament game in that first round here."