The Fort Hays State volleyball team dropped a hard-fought match against Pittsburg State on Friday (Nov. 15), 28-30, 23-25, 25-16, 25-14. The Tigers outhit the Gorillas on the day, but late PSU rallies in the first and second set made the difference. The Tigers move to 6-21 overall and 3-16 in MIAA play, while the Gorillas improve to 14-14 on the year and 9-10 in conference action.
Fort Hays State tallied a .198 attack percentage on the day while limiting Pittsburg State to a swing rate of .176 thanks to nine total team blocks. The Tigers had a significant edge in digs, 105-90.
Morgan Christiansen led the team with an impressive .526 attack percentage, recording 11 kills and just one error on 19 swings while adding four blocks (one solo). Tatum Bartels added 10 kills, six digs and five blocks (two solo). Morgan West and Mykah Eshbaugh tallied nine kills each, with Paige Baird and Delaney Humm adding eight kills apiece. Katie Darnell recorded a double-double with 38 assists and a career-high 21 digs. Abbie Hayes led the team with 28 assists and added the lone service ace for the Tigers.
The teams went back and forth for the entirety of the opening set, with neither team leading by more than two. Pittsburg State was the first team to reach set point at 24-23, but a kill from Christiansen extended the set. Baird and West added kills to extend the set before Darnell added a kill to give the Tigers a chance at set point, 27-26. After the Gorillas tied things up, Humm found the floor with a big kill to give the Tigers another chance at the set, but the Gorillas responded with three consecutive points to secure the win, 30-28.
The Tigers trailed by as many as five late in the first set, 22-17, before going on a 6-1 run to tie things up. Kills from Christiansen and West combined with four Pitt State errors combined to help the Tigers level the score at 23-23 before the Gorillas used another late run to take the set, 25-23.
Fort Hays State never trailed in the third set, taking the first two points and seven of the first 10. Two kills from Mykah Eshbaugh anchored a 6-0 run late in the set to help the Tigers take complete control, 20-9. Christiansen recorded a solo block to give the Tigers a chance at set point before combining with Humm on a set-clinching block, giving the Tigers a 25-16 win. Pittsburg State responded with its best set of the afternoon, posting a .302 attack percentage en route to a 25-14 win.
The Tigers will wrap up the regular season Saturday (Nov. 16) when they host Missouri Southern for Senior Day. First serve is set for noon from Gross Memorial Coliseum.