The Fort Hays State volleyball team won a back-and-forth third set against No. 9 Central Missouri Friday (Nov. 1) before falling to the Jennies, 18-25, 18-25, 26-24, 17-25. The Tigers are now 6-17 on the year and 3-12 in MIAA play, while UCM improves to 18-6 overall and 12-3 in league action.
The Tigers held UCM below its season average offensively, limiting the Jennies to a swing rate of .232. FHSU forced 19 UCM errors, three fewer than the 22 attacking miscues credited to the Tigers. FHSU had trouble finding the floor on the other side of the net, posting a .146 attack percentage due in large part to 81 UCM digs.
Abbie Hayes led the team with a career-high 31 digs, seven more than her previous high in a four-set match. Delaney Humm totaled a team-high 15 kills to go along with eight digs and two service aces. Isabelle Reynolds contributed nine kills and two block assists while Emily Ellis tallied six kills, just one error and three block assists.
After falling behind early in each of the first two sets, the Tigers took their first lead of the match when a kill from Reynolds ended the first rally of the third set. Neither side led by more than three in a third set that included 12 ties and six lead changes. The longest run of the set belonged to the Tigers, who quickly turned an 18-16 deficit into a 21-18 lead.
The momentum started to shift when Reynolds and Ellis combined for blocks on two out of three rallies. Morgan West added a pair of kills during the run to help give the Tigers their largest lead of the set. UCM bounced back to tie things up at 23, but a kill and a service ace from Humm locked up the set and kept the Tigers alive.
FHSU carried the momentum into the fourth set, scoring seven of the first nine points to lead by five. Three kills from Humm and one from Ellis gave freshmen all four Tiger kills early in the frame. A pair of UCM errors contributed to the run that was capped off by a service ace from Taylor White. The Jennies responded with an 11-1 run later in the frame to take the lead for good.
The Tigers will turn around and host 14th-ranked Northwest Missouri State at 4 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 2) inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.