Tiger Volleyball Blocks its Way to Sweep of MSSU


JOPLIN, Mo. – The Fort Hays State volleyball team used a .326 attack percentage to cruise past Missouri Southern Friday evening (Nov. 11) in straight sets. The Tigers tallied 12 total blocks in the match, adding four service aces while committing just 11 attack errors. Fort Hays State moves to 24-8 on the year and 10-7 in MIAA play, while the Lions fall to 6-24 on the year and 3-24 in conference.

With the win, the Tigers remain in the hunt to host a match in the first round of the MIAA Tournament next Tuesday, with the final standings being decided on Saturday.

Callie Christensen was a force at the net, recording a school-record 11 blocks in the three-set match (rally scoring era). The junior’s total is one off the match record since the scoring changed in 2001 (Jenna Ulrich, 12, five sets). Rebekah Spainhour led the team with 12 kills on just 18 swings without recording an error, adding two blocks for good measure. Crystal Whitten tallied 11 kills and seven digs, sharing the team-high with Chandler Hillman and Ari Jacobsen. Hannah Wagy tossed up 37 of the team’s 39 assists, chipping in six digs and one block. Megan Anderson added seven blocks and eight kills.

The Lions hung around early in the match, trading points with the Tigers to keep the margin within four. After an MSSU kill made the score 11-9, the Tigers went on a 14-2 run to put the set on ice. FHSU scored the final six points of the set, capped off by a service ace from Azlyn Cassaday.

Multiple kills from Spainhour and Whitten helped the Tigers open a 10-6 lead in the second set, which is when things took off. The Tigers scored the next 11 points with Wagy serving, extending the lead to 21-6. The Lions clawed back with five-straight points, but three blocks from the Tigers over the last four points handed FHSU a 2-0 lead before the break.

The Lions took their first lead in the match to start the first set, but the Black and Gold made sure it wouldn’t last long. Trailing 5-4, a kill from Sydney Dixon sparked a 3-0 run for the Tigers, who took the lead for good. Anderson and Christensen combined for three-straight blocks midway through the set to stretch the lead to 17-9. It was only fitting that the match ended on a would-be Lion attack being blocked by the Fort Hays State front line. Wagy and Keely Ruby combined for the honors on the final point of the match, securing the sweep.

The Tigers will wrap up their regular season schedule Saturday afternoon (Nov. 12) when they travel to Bolivar, Mo. for a date with Southwest Baptist. First serve is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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