On homecoming weekend, the Fort Hays State University volleyball team looked to find its first win over Missouri Western. It looked like that might happen after a strong start in the first set, but the Griffons overpowered the Tigers and went on to win the match in straight sets.

Interim head coach Brandi Fairbank was impressed with the quick start from her team, but emphasized they must carry that momentum with them throughout the game.

“That was the best start in a game we’ve had in a while,” she said. “Usually we get down a couple of points at the beginning, so that was a good change for us getting up several points in the first set. But we’ve gotta finish all the way through.”

The Tigers still have quite a few games ahead of them and plenty of time to correct mistakes and grab some wins in conference play, Fairbank said.

“The teams we’ve seen already we’re going to see again. We know what they’re going to be doing, so It’s just a matter of eliminating mistakes,” she said.

The Tigers came out strong and jumped quickly to a 6-0 lead, but the Griffons survived the early assault and battled back, finally tying the set at 19. After an exchange of points, the Griffons edged out a win in the first set, 25-22.

The second set began much like the end of a first, in a tough battle resulting in an early tie at five points apiece. Missouri Western’s offense then took over and erupted on a 9-0 run. Fort Hays couldn’t battle back after that and eventually dropped the second set, 25-14.

The Tigers came out strong again in the third set, gaining an early 5-3 lead. But the Griffons battled back throughout the set, taking a 20-14 lead.

This time the Tigers showed a spark toward the end, narrowing the Missouri Western lead and eventually tying the set at 20. However, the Tigers were unable to carry that momentum forward and dropped the third set 25-21, losing the match in straight sets, 3-0.

Missouri Western improved to 11-8 overall and 5-1 in the MIAA, while Fort Hays dropped to 9-11, 1-5.