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TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS baseball swept at Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Final home games for Tigers -4/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Indian track competes at Valley Center -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 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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Frustrating finish to Tigers' regular season; MIAA tourney up next

Published on -11/12/2012, 10:11 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Saturday's match against University of Central Missouri, ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division II, encapsulated a recent frustrating stretch for the Fort Hays State University volleyball team. The Tigers lost 3-1 and played well in a 25-20 third set victory. But FHSU had continued inconsistencies with its offense and passing. For the fifth time in six matches, Fort Hays hit under .200. The Tigers also committed five reception errors. The Tigers lost for the fifth time in six matches.

"Our passing has fallen off," fourth-year coach Kurt Kohler said. "The more we work on it, it seems like the worse it gets, so if could just focus on our passing, we would get in the game. In that third set out here, we were having perfect passes, and we end up beating them by five. But the rest of the time, we were shanking balls all over. It's something that we have got to fix, but really, it's going to start with that teamwork and everybody having the same goal."

On Tuesday, the Tigers, the No. 7 seed in the eight-team MIAA conference tournament at 23-13 overall, 7-10 in conference play, will travel to Washburn University in Topeka.

Washburn is the tournament's No. 2 seed and ranked third in NCAA Division II at 30-2, 15-2. Start time is 7 p.m. in Lee Arena.

"I don't feel like we are playing as a team right now and we have got to figure that out, just at times playing some selfish ball and that's got to change as we get into the conference tournament," Kohler said.

FHSU finished in a three-way tie with University of Central Oklahoma and Pittsburg State University, but won the tiebreaker against both squads. While FHSU has struggled down the stretch, it still has finished with the most conference victories since it joined the MIAA in 2006 and the most overall wins since a school-record 31-5 season in 2004.

"It's all about confidence, and when we come together as a team, we are unbeatable and it's an awesome feeling," sophomore outside hitter Sara Hewson said.

On Oct. 30, Fort Hays lost 3-1 to Washburn in Topeka and took a 3-0 home loss Sept. 28. However, the home defeat came during a stretch where FHSU played its best volleyball of the season. At home, Fort Hays lost 23-23, 25-21, 28-26, a match that Kohler considers probably his team's best performance of the season.

"I think we've challenged everybody this year," Kohler said. "We just fall apart in certain aspects of the game and just mentally aren't engaged throughout an entire match. I think if we can get everybody on the same page, I think we've got a good shot of making a run."

Fort Hays stands seventh in the conference in hitting percentage (.184) and ninth in kills (12.44 per set). Washburn, a perennial power, stands second in the league in assists and kills. Paced by junior middle hitter Jenna Ulrich, the Tigers are second in the conference in blocks per game (2.18).

Despite some recent struggles, Ulrich has enjoyed a terrific season and ranks seventh in the conference in hitting percentage (.319), 12th in kills (2.71) and first in blocks (1.31). "She is just mentally a strong kid," Kohler said. "She can handle a lot of adversity and continue to play well all of the way through it. She is a great leader. Fun kid to work with, very coachable."

However, Kohler said Ulrich might not earn first-team all-conference because of the strength of the MIAA middle hitters, a group that includes Washburn senior Jessica Fey, who stands second in the conference in hitting percentage (.392).

"When I first came into the conference, it was all about setters and I think that has kind of shifted to where the real talent is in the middle," Kohler said. "I think (Jenna) is one of the best. I think she ranks right up there with any one of them. In most cases, I would love to have her on my team over some of those other kids, because she is hard to read, very unpredictable and it's tough for teams to dig her. I love having her on our side of the net."

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