ST. CHARLES, Mo.— A big Tiger volleyball rally came up just short in the opening set Saturday afternoon against Lindenwood, giving the Lions enough momentum to take the match in three sets. The loss moves Fort Hays State to 6-15 on the year and 0-9 in MIAA play, while Lindenwood is now 11-8 overall and 3-6 in league action.
The Tigers took an early lead to open the match, but the Lions broke things open with a big run to go in front by six, 15-9. The Tigers scored the next five points to close within one. A kill from Isabelle Reynolds opened the rally before Ashley Webb joined the party with a kill of her own. Consecutive slams from Azlyn Cassaday trimmed the deficit to 15-13 before a Lion error made it even closer.
Lindenwood regained the momentum, going back in front by five, before the Tigers mounted a 5-1 run to tie things 22. Trailing 21-16, the trio of Tatum Bartels, Morgan West and Cassaday combined for a big block to return serve to the Tigers. Cassaday and Bartels added another block on the following point before two Kayla Vitztum kills and two Lion errors tied the opening set at 22. Bartels kept FHSU in it with a kill two points later, knotting the score at 23, but LU bounced back to capture the final two points to win the set, 25-23.
The Lions never trailed in the second set, heading to the locker room up 2-0 with a 25-19 victory. Fort Hays State led early in the third frame, but a five-point run put the Lions in front for good.
Reynolds and Cassaday both totaled a team-high eight kills, while Cassaday, Bartels and West contributed a team-best three blocks each. Abbie Hayes paced the team with 17 digs, adding one kill. Bre Becker tossed up 21 assists on the day while Amirah Bentley added 10 assists.
Fort Hays State will return home for its longest homestand of the season, beginning next weekend.