EDMOND, Okla. – Fort Hays State notched its first MIAA victory of the season on Friday night with a big 2-1 win over No. 14 ranked Central Oklahoma. Not even a first-half lightning delay could deter the Tigers from ending the Bronchos' 13-match unbeaten streak at home.
Coming into the match, UCO had been a thorn in the side of FHSU winning six of the last seven meetings. Fort Hays State snapped a four-match skid to UCO with the win, moving to 5-3 (1-1 MIAA). The Tigers handed the Bronchos their first loss of the year, now 6-1-2 (1-1 MIAA).
Only 10 minutes ticked by before lightning from a storm in the area caused a delay of an hour. The delay did not faze the Tigers. Five minutes after play resumed, FHSU drew a foul in the box. Chloe Montano stepped up and knocked in her first goal of the season on a penalty kick, giving the Tigers the early 1-0 advantage. The Tigers mustered three more shots before taking the one-goal lead into halftime.
The Tigers attempted their only shot of the second half in the 54th minute, but cashed in on the chance. Jenna Prince netted a goal in the lower-left corner off an assist from Montano, helping the Tigers double their lead. UCO's Eden Jones scored in the 64th minute to cut the lead in half, but it was not enough as FHSU hung on for the victory despite getting outshot 24-5.
The Tigers made their two shots on goal count out of their five total shots for the match. Prince and Montano were responsible for two shots each, while Emily Reitz tallied the fifth. The defense had a busy night, but kept 14 UCO shot attempts from being on target. Taryn Schnell and Maja Persa defensively played the entire 90 minutes.
Megan Kneefel (4-2) was rock solid, saving nine of 10 shots on goal. With the victory, Kneefel moved into sole possession of second place in all-time career wins at FHSU. She passed Abbie Flax (2014-2016), now with 19 career victories.
The Tigers look to keep their momentum rolling on Sunday (Oct. 6) at Newman University. The match is at 2 pm in Wichita.
Tiger volleyball swept by No. 10 Bearcats
At Maryville, Mo., the Fort Hays State volleyball team struggled to find a rhythm Friday evening against No. 10 Northwest Missouri State, falling to the Bearcats in three sets (12-25, 11-25, 9-25). The Tigers move to 6-8 overall and 3-3 in MIAA play while NWMSU improves to 12-1 on the year and 5-0 in league action.
Northwest Missouri State captured four of the first five points and never looked back, leading for nearly the entire match. The Tigers held a slight lead in the second set, leading as late as 7-6 before a four-point Bearcat run gave the home team the lead for good.
The Tigers were held to a -.099 attack percentage while the Bearcats countered with a .326 swing rate. NWMSU made things tough for the Tigers at the net, blocking seven attempts on the night.
Seven different Tigers recorded a kill, led by four from Delaney Humm. The sophomore tied with senior Abbie Hayes with a team-best 10 digs on the day. Katie Darnell totaled 11 assists while Taylor White added four.
The Tigers will look to bounce back Saturday (Oct. 5) when they take on No. 13 Central Missouri. First serve is set for 3 p.m. from Warrensburg, Mo.