Just like Tuesday’s match against No. 2 Nebraska-Kearney, Fort Hays State volleyball coach Jessica Wood-Atkins thought the Tigers gave a good account of themselves on Friday night against No. 11 Washburn.
FHSU was unable to take a set from Washburn like they did against UNK, but Wood-Atkins said that had more to do with the Ichabods than anything else.
Fort Hays had the first set tied at 16 but Washburn controlled the rest of the match, handing FHSU a 3-0 loss (25-17, 25-19, 25-16) at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
“I actually think that we played very well,” Wood-Atkins said. “We left what we had on the court. I think that they did a good job of coming out and pretty much minimizing their errors and taking advantage of opportunities, which is where I think they got us. But overall I think we played very well.”
Washburn’s middle hitters gave the Tigers trouble, and the Ichabods posted a .296 hitting percentage while FHSU was held to .099. WU improved to 25-1 and 12-1 in the MIAA while FHSU fell to 8-17 overall and 2-11 in the MIAA.
“I mean, one of their girls literally hit over our block. It’s hard to defend against a girl that hit over the block,” Wood-Atkins said. “They run a little bit different style of hit out of the middle, which nobody else in the conference does, so when you don’t see it often, it takes a while to adjust.”
Genna Berg and Allison Maxwell each had 10 kills for Washburn while FHSU was led by Isabelle Reynolds’ 11 kills.
“I think our middles did an excellent job, Ashley Webb and Tatum Bartels,” Wood-Atkins said. “They really did a good job of moving around. And I think Izzy Reynolds had a great night tonight.”
FHSU will end the three-match week against Emporia State at 3 p.m. Saturday at home. FHSU, currently sitting 11th in the conference standings, is looking for a late-season charge to get into the MIAA Tournament.
“It’s a big day for us,” Wood-Atkins said. “We still have an opportunity to get into the tournament, but I think a lot of it hinges on how we do against Emporia. That’s probably the most important match of the weekend. They’re all important, but that one can make or break our conference opportunity."