The Fort Hays State University volleyball team had a tough, but encouraging, week of play against two conference foes and a non-conference opponent.
The Tigers hosted Emporia State University on Friday for their first match of the games. The Hornets proved to be too much for the Tigers, prevailing 3-1. The match was a tough one for the Tigers, as it seemed like they couldn’t get anything going on either side of the ball.
A setback for the Tigers was when sophomore hitter Camille Hubert injured her right shoulder.
“Camille pulled a muscle in her back,” coach Kurt Kohler said.
Even with the struggles, the Tigers were still able to have three players gain double-digits in kills. Sophomore Jenna Ulrich had 12, freshman Kylee Hoagland had 11 and junior Yadira Jacquez added 10 to the team’s total of 49. Ulrich led the team in hitting percentage with .310 percent.
Ulrich also added one solo block and five assist blocks. Hoagland also had two solo blocks and two assist blocks. Senior Tracie Hileman led the team in digs with 19, while sophomore Makenzie Weinman was close behind with 17 digs. Junior Kayla Zoglman added 40 assists for the Tigers.
The second match of the week came against seventh-ranked University of Central Missouri. The match against Central Missouri was an emotional game for the players. The Tigers went up early, winning the first two games by scores of 25-22 and 32-30.
After the halftime break the Jennies rallied to win the last three 25-19, 28-26, 15-9.
In the first two games, the Tigers wouldn’t let Central Missouri gain any type of momentum. Neither team was able to grab more than a three-point lead at any time during the first game.
The point that gave the Tigers the lead, and eventual win, was a kill by Jacquez to put the Tigers up 22-19. The teams traded points back and forth from then, and the Tigers won on a hitting error by Central Missouri.
The second game was much like the first one, with the game being close and the scoring being tied 16 different times. A kill by Ulrich and a hitting error by Central Missouri gave the Tigers the 32-30 win.
Ulrich had 10 kills in the second game, adding to her season high of 21 kills in the match.
After the halftime break, the Jennies came out and over-matched the Tigers late in the third set. The game was still a close one tied at 16 all, before Central Missouri went on a 5-2 run.
The fourth set proved to be much like the first two were. The Jennies outmatched the Tigers in hitting, with two different players hitting over six kills.
In the fifth set, the Jennies had momentum on their side and cruised to a 15-9 win to seal the match.
Jacquez, stepping in for the injured Hubert, had a season high in kills with 17.
“Camille couldn’t raise her arm up this morning, so we had to make that switch 15 minutes before game time,” Kohler said.
The Tigers had five players record double-digits in digs. Hileman led the team with 33, while Weinman added 19 to the team total of 106.
The third match of the week was against non-conference opponent Oklahoma-Pandhandle State University. The Tigers had already beaten Panhandle twice this season, and this match was no different. The Tigers won in straight games with scores of 25-12, 25-22, 25-19. The match saw some playing times for players who normally aren’t in the rotation. Thirteen different players saw playing time for the Tigers.
Sophomore Madision Schwartz led the team in kills with 12, while Ulrich added 10. Zoglman had 26 assists for the Tigers. Hileman and Weinman had 10 digs a piece to lead the Tigers.
The Tigers will go on the road this weekend for two conference matches. The first is against Northwest Missouri State University on Friday, and the second against Truman State University.
The Tigers have already beaten Truman once this season when the Bulldogs were ranked 24th in the nation.