FHSU (1-9, 1-4 MIAA) picked up its first win of the season by hitting .208 as a team, including five individual Tigers hitting above .200. The Bearcats (6-7, 2-2 MIAA) hit just .157, and had a .033 hitting percentage in the final set.
Tayor Mares’ 18 kills led the team and hit .394, while Mallory Flagor had 14 kills. Three other Tigers (Jenna Ulrich, Sara Hewson and Haley Corkill) had at least seven kills.
Using a two-setter lineup, FHSU’s Libby Ary and Raegan Vanderplas combined for 49 of the Tigers’ 56 assists. Ary led the team with 31, while Vanderplas had 18.
Defensively, Ulrich returned to her All-MIAA form, totaling 9 block assists in the contest. Mares added five block assists as well.
In the back row, Makenzie Weinmen dug out a season-best 28 attacks, including eight in the first and fourth sets. Hewson had 13 digs for the Tigers.
Though they led 4-0 in the first set, the Tigers would fall behind by as many as four (10-6) until tying it, 15-15. From there, both squads would trade points until 18-all, when a two-point rally put NWMSU up, 20-18. After an FHSU timeout, the Tigers would answer back to take a 21-20 lead, setting the stage for a close finish.
NWMSU continued took one-point leads, but FHSU would side out to re-tie the match until 27-27. Then, a service ace by Vanderplas gave FHSU a set-point opportunity. The Bearcats would not go away, however, as an FHSU attack error tied the match again. FHSU, though, used a Bearcat attack error and a kill by Samantha Ledy to take the game, 30-28.
FHSU would lead 2-0 in the second set, but again fall behind, 9-5. The Tigers, though, showed resilience and broke off on a 6-0 run to grab an 11-9 lead. With the score at 12-11, FHSU pulled out of reach, going on a 6-1 run that included two kills by Mares to lead, 18-12. NWMSU would regain composure and cut the lead to four (21-17), but the Tigers would not relinquish the lead, taking the set 25-20 on Flagor’s fourth kill of the second frame.
Out of intermission, FHSU would again lead (1-0) in the third game, but trail by as many as three until a quick four-point burst for FHSU forced a Bearcat timeout. Though the Tigers still trailed, 11-10, at that point, they would eventually tie it up, 13-13. Later in the set, down 20-17, FHSU again fought back, taking a 22-21 advantage on a Corkill attack that found the floor. FHSU would lose the set, however, 25-23.
The Tigers never trailed in the fourth set, tearing off a 5-1 run early in the final game to lead, 10-6. After two quick points for the Bearcats, the Tigers put together a 10-2 run (20-10), including a spurt of five unanswered points. Though NWMSU sparked a short rally and cut the lead to five (21-16), an ace by Keanu Bradley on match point (25-17) gave FHSU its first victory of the season.
FHSU will compete on Monday, Sept. 30, in a doubleheader with McPherson College. The first match is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., followed by another at 7 p.m.
— FHSU Sports Information —