CHADRON, Neb. — The Fort Hays State volleyball team picked up a split on day two of the 2019 Eagle Classic Saturday (Sept. 7), wrapping up the weekend with a thrilling five-set win over South Dakota Mines. The Tigers return to Hays 1-3 on the season, while Montana State Billings improved to 1-2 with their win over FHSU and Mines moves to 1-3.
Delaney Humm picked up 36 kills on the day, averaging 5.1 kills per set through the two matches.
Montana State Billings 3, Fort Hays State 0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-17)
The Tigers put together their best offensive performance of the season against the Yellowjackets (.269 attack percentage), but untimely errors cost FHSU a chance at its first win. The Tigers outperformed MSUB in nearly every statistical category, but the combination of 18 attack errors, 10 service errors and seven setting miscues made all the difference.
Montana State Billings opened the match with authority, scoring six of the first seven points en route to a 10-4 lead. The Tigers responded by capturing 12 of the next 13 rallies, including a 9-0 run to jump in front 16-11.
Freshman Delaney Humm recorded four of her team-high 14 kills during the big Tiger rally. The Tigers stretched the lead to eight later in the set when back-to-back kills from Morgan Christiansen made the score 23-15. A kill from Morgan West three rallies later gave the Tigers a chance at set point, but the Yellowjackets pulled off an impressive rally of nine-straight points to take the set 26-24.
The teams went back-and-forth for much of the second set before FHSU used a 7-1 run to take an 18-15 lead. The Tigers were unable to hold the lead after six FHSU errors helped the Yellowjackets close the set on a 10-4 run.
Humm also led the team in attack percentage, posting a .400 attack percentage after collecting her 14 kills on 25 swings. Kayla Vitztum added nine kills while Christiansen totaled eight kills. Katie Darnell tossed up 18 assists and added six digs while Haley McCorkle chipped in 15 assists and five digs. Abbie Hayes led the team with 11 digs while Tatum Bartels and Madison Miller both recorded a pair of service aces.
Fort Hays State 3, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-27, 15-13)
The Tigers recorded their first win of the season in a highly competitive affair, holding on in the fifth set to clinch the win over South Dakota Mines. Delaney Humm was a go-to for the Tiger offense, with the freshman recording the set-winning kill in all three set victories.
Fort Hays State posted a .181 attack percentage in the victory while limiting Mines to a .120 swing rate. The Tigers were clicking in the final set, posting a .333 swing percentage (12-3-27). The Tigers picked up 14 blocks in the win, including five solo blocks from Morgan Christiansen and four from Tatum Bartels.
Humm and Bartels finished the match with a career-best 22 kills, while Humm added 12 digs for a double-double. Haley McCorkle tossed up 34 assists, with Katie Darnell adding 22 assists. Abbie Hayes totaled 18 digs in the win, with Madison Miller (13), Humm and Darnell (10) also reaching double figures.
The teams traded blows all evening, with neither side leading by more than seven in any set. The Tigers slowly built a lead in the first set, but four-straight points from Mines tied things up at 21-21. Humm stepped up to record three kills and a block assist on the final four rallies to give the Tigers a 25-21 win.
Fort Hays State led by three midway through the second set, but the Hardrockers pulled in front with a 6-1 run.
The squads traded sustained runs in the third set before Fort Hays State scored seven of the final 10 points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Tigers appeared to be in the driver's seat in the fourth set, jumping in front 18-11. Mines didn't go away quietly, however, scoring the next eight points to take the lead. Fort Hays State battled back to have two shots at match point before the Hardrockers forced a fifth set with three consecutive points.
FHSU and Mines went back-and-forth again in the final set, with the Tigers capturing the first three points before the Hardrockers battled within 8-7 when the teams traded sides. Mines took its first lead of the set at 10-9, but kill from Christiansen returned the momentum to the Tigers. Bartels recorded kills on three of the next five rallies before Humm finished off the match on a pass from McCorkle.
The Tigers return to Hays to host the 2019 Tiger Classic next weekend inside Gross Memorial Coliseum. FHSU will host six matches on both Friday and Saturday (Sept. 13-14), with action beginning at 9 a.m. each day.