Tiger volleyball falls to Mo. Western on senior day

The Fort Hays State volleyball team grabbed the opening set against Missouri Western on Saturday, but the Griffons rallied to take the regular season finale, 3-1. The Tigers wrap up the regular season 8-22 overall and 2-16 in MIAA play, while the Griffons move to 15-16 and 7-11 in league competition.

The Tigers were firing on all cylinders in the opening set, hitting .270 while making just four errors and holding the Griffons to a .098 attack percentage. The teams alternated points early, with neither side leading by more than two. With the score tied at 10, Fort Hays State took the lead for good thanks to a 6-1 run. Four consecutive MWSU errors gave the Tigers an advantage before Kayla Vitztum dropped in a pair of kills, putting FHSU in front 16-11. The visitors closed within 22-19 after a run of their own, but two more kills from Vitztum and a final kill from Ashley Webb handed the Tigers a 25-20 win.

Fort Hays State continued the momentum into the second set, using a nine-point run to go in front by as many as 11-4. Isabelle Reynolds contributed two kills and a solo block during the run before a service ace from Bre Becker put the Tigers in front by six and forced a Griffon timeout. MWSU then rallied to take a 16-13 lead with a 12-2 run. Two Tatum Bartels kills and a Griffon error tied things up at 16 before the teams traded points over the next several minutes. Again tied at 20, Missouri Western scored five of the final six points to level the match as the teams left for the locker room, 25-21.

Missouri Western used big runs to take control in the third and fourth sets, securing the match after wins of 25-15 and 25-19.

The Tigers finished the match with a .120 attack percentage compared to a .196 swing rate for the visitors. Both sides totaled seven blocks, including five from Bartels.

Azlyn Cassaday wrapped up her Tiger career with her third double-double, totaling 12 kills and 13 digs. The rest of the senior class contributed all afternoon, with Madison Elwood recording seven kills, three digs and two blocks, Ashley Webb totaling five kills and one block, Abby Groth contributing four digs and two assists and Becca Page tossing up a team-best 15 assists to go with seven digs.

Tiger men third at MIAA XC

The Fort Hays State men’s cross country team finished third at the 2018 MIAA Cross Country Championships Saturday. Israel Barco led the Tigers to the line, earning honorable mention All-MIAA status after finishing 16th. Emporia State University hosted this year’s meet at Jones Park.

The Tigers picked up 111 points as a team, good enough for their second-best finish at the conference race in MIAA history. Missouri Southern took the team title with 31 points.

Barco earned his 16th-place finish after completing the eight-kilometer course in 26:28.1. Alex Barbosa finished one spot behind Barco at 17th, crossing the finish line in 26:34.3. Justin Moore turned in a time of 26:35.5, good for 18th place. Along with Barco, Barbosa and Moore also earned honorable mention All-MIAA status for their efforts. Reed Rome traversed the course in 26:46.2 to place 28th, while Layton Werth rounded out the scoring with a 32nd-place finish (26:54.7).

Missouri Southern’s Gidieon Kimutai claimed the individual title with a time of 25:17.7, edging second-place by 5.1 seconds.

The Tigers will return to the course in two weeks when they travel to Joplin, Mo. for the NCAA Division II Central Region Championships on November 17. The men’s race is set to commence at 10 a.m.

FHSU women place fifth in MIAA

The Fort Hays State women’s cross country team earned a fifth-place finish at the 2018 installment of the MIAA Championships. The course was ran in Emporia on Saturday (Nov. 3) morning and included 111 participating runners at the Jones Park Country Course. Emporia State hosted the six-kilometer morning event. One Tiger claimed All-MIAA honors after completing the course.

Fort Hays State totaled 145 points with ten Tigers navigating the course. Pittsburg State won the championship after finishing with 26 points and taking the first through third place individual honors. Southwest Baptist (51) and Missouri Southern (114) round out the top three team finishes.

Yessenia Gonzales led the pack for FHSU, finishing in 13th and claiming All-MIAA honorable mention accolades. Gonzales completed the six-kilometer race with a time of 22:48.45 to earn her first-career All-MIAA finish.

Nine other Tigers competed in the championships, but missed earning conference honors. Mirena Goncalves placed 28th with a time of 23:33.3, followed closely by Abigail Stewart in the 30th position with a time of 23:40.3. Tessa Durnell placed 34th at 23:46.5, Grace Buessing finished in 40th with a 23:53.9 time to complete the top-40 finishes for Fort Hays State.

Averi Wilson (24:23.5), Rebeca Avelar (24:52.6), Carson Pierce (25:19.0), Courtney Jenson (25:25.6) and Rylea Oliver (26.12.4) also finished for the Tigers to help claim the fifth-place team finish.

Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Joplin, Mo. on Nov. 17 for the NCAA Central Regional competition. The women are set to start their race at 11:15 a.m.

Late goals lift Tiger men's soccer 

The No. 10 ranked Fort Hays State men's soccer team used two goals in the final five minutes to defeat the University of Mary in the Tigers' regular season finale on Saturday (Nov. 3), 2-0. The Tigers completed the regular season with a 15-2-1 overall record and an 8-0 conference record, while the Marauders ended their season 4-9-1.

In the second matchup of the season pitting these two squads that started with FHSU blowing out Mary 7-0, ended with a much different outcome the second time around.

The first period featured defensive battle from both the Tigers and Marauders. The Tigers held the 13-1 edge in shots taken, however, neither team could break the threshold of the goal. Both teams went into the locker rooms scoreless.

For much of the second half, it was a carbon copy of the first 45 minutes. At the 85:00 mark, Mauricio Etcheverry pushed ahead the ball to Abdoulaye Cisse, who then fed the ball to Alonso Rodriguez in the box. Rodriguez headed the ball into the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Lukas Billhardt to his right and the Tigers held the 1-0 advantage late in the match.

FHSU was not done, however, when Arsenio Chamorro fired a shot towards the goal that was deflected by Billhardt, then Abdoulaye Cisse took advantage and shot the ball and beat the keeper to increase the Tiger lead to 2-0 in the 87th minute of the contest. The 2-0 score would prove to be the final.

Tiger keeper Fernando Pina picked up the victory in goal for FHSU, improving his overall record to 10-0-1. Rodriguez and Cisse scored their fourth goals and Cisse picked up his sixth assist on the season, while Etcheverry grabbed his third assist and Chamorro picked up his second assist on the year. Santiago Agudelo led the Tiger offense with five shots.

The Tigers will find out their postseason fate on Monday when the NCAA Selection Show takes place to let the teams know where and when they will play.