FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT
HAYS, Kan. – With just two matches remaining in the regular season, much is still to be decided when it comes to the postseason for the Fort Hays State volleyball team. The Tigers (23-8, 9-7 MIAA) currently sit in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference with 25th-ranked Northwest Missouri State and No. 16 Central Missouri. The top four teams in the conference host the first round matches in the MIAA Tournament before traveling to the highest remaining seed for the semifinal and championship matches.
The Tigers would own the tiebreaker against Northwest because of their four-set victory last weekend but would lose a head-to-head tiebreak with Central Missouri due to total sets won (4-3). The Bearcats and Jennies face off to wrap up the regular season Saturday.
Fort Hays State opens the final weekend against Missouri Southern in Joplin, Mo. before traveling to Bolivar, Mo. to wrap up the regular season against Southwest Baptist. The Tigers swept each of this weekend’s opponents two weeks ago inside Gross Memorial Coliseum (Oct. 29-30), not allowing more than 17 points in any game.
The Tigers have won five of their last seven matches and seven of their last 10 contests. The team has accumulated a .233 attack percentage on the year, fourth-best in the league. They lead the league and rank third in the nation in kills (1529) and assists (1432) while ranking sixth in Division II with a league-best 256 total blocks. FHSU is 31.5 blocks from matching its rally scoring era record of 287.5, set in 2012.
Crystal Whitten connects with a league-best 4.14 kills per set, ranking 21st nationally. Her 451 kills rank eighth in the nation. Hannah Wagy leagues the conference and ranks third in Division II with 1217 assists on the year, averaging 11.48 per set. Fellow senior Rebekah Spainhour is in the top-seven in the league with a .335 attack percentage and is listed fourth with 101 total blocks on the year.
Junior Callie Christensen has 124 total blocks this year, 15th-most in the country. Her total is currently tied for 10th in program history during the DII era.
Fort Hays State vs Missouri Southern Friday, November 11 6:00 p.m. MSSU leads all-time series, 30-25
Joplin, Mo. Young Gymnasium
First up for the Tigers is another date with Missouri Southern, who enter the weekend 6-23 this season and 3-13 in conference play. After losing to the Tigers two weeks ago for their eighth-straight loss, the Lions are 2-1 since the start of November.
Bailey Rexford leads the team with just over two kills per set. Whitney Harrison and Katie Paine have split the setting duties of late, with Harrison delivering 5.9 assists per set and Paine chipping in 3.7 per game. Alicia Pickett ranks seventh in the conference with just under one block per set.
The Tigers are 8-5 against the Lions under head coach Kurt Kohler, including a 3-3 mark on the road.
Fort Hays State vs Southwest Baptist Saturday, November 12 11:00 a.m. FHSU leads all-time series, 12-6
Bolivar, Mo. Meyer Sports Center
The Bearcats will conclude a frustrating season on Saturday, looking to break a 21 game losing streak during the final weekend of play. SBU is 3-27 on the year and winless in conference play, 0-16. They would become the first team without a win in MIAA play since Missouri Southern in 2013 with a pair of losses this weekend.
Dana Neal leads the Bearcats with 2.4 kills per set. Serena Mar is the primary setter, tossing up 5.2 assists per set. Bailey Baumann ranks in the top-10 in the conference in both service aces (29) and digs (3.9 per set).
FHSU is 9-4 against the Bearcats with Kohler at the helm, including a 4-2 record in Bolivar.