Fort Hays State University used a record-setting night from Jenna Ulrich to pick up two road wins at the Oklahoma-Panhandle State Triangular on Tuesday in Goodwell, Okla. FHSU defeated OPSU, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-17), and then topped Northwestern Oklahoma State, 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-17, 25-16).
The Tigers improve to 5-11 on the season while OPSU drops to 3-13 and Northwest now sits at 1-12.
Against Northwestern, Ulrich set new school records for total blocks in a four-set match (11), solo blocks in a four-set match (five) and tied a rally-scoring era record for solo blocks (five) in a match (of any length).
FHSU 3, Oklahoma-Panhandle State 0
FHSU was led on offense by Sara Hewson with 12 kills and Mallory Flagor with 10. Hewson hit a season high .611 and added a team-high eight digs for the match. Chelsea Payne had 19 assists for contest, followed closely by Kelsey Broadwell’s 17.
Defensively, Madison Schwartz and Raegan Vanderplas had six digs, while Ulrich added five blocks (two solo) and Flagor had three blocks.
The Tigers never trailed in the first set, and at 10-6, tore off on a four-point run to take control, 14-6, sparked by two Flagor kills. FHSU would lead by as many as eight on three different occasions, ending the set at 25-17.
Down 3-0 to start the second frame, but at 8-8, broke out on a stretch of six unanswered points to lead, 14-8. The Tigers would lead by as many as seven, but an OPSU rally tied the match, 21-21. FHSU, though, clinched the set, 25-23.
FHSU would again trail in the third set, but at 6-9, FHSU started an 11-1 run (including a streak of seven unanswered points) to jump ahead, 16-10. The Tigers would close out the match, 25-17.
FHSU 3, Northwestern Oklahoma State 1
Ulrich’s record-setting performance in blocks keyed the Tigers, as she added six kills in the effort. Schwartz had 12 kills for the game while Taylor Mares added 11 kills and five block assists.
Vanderplas and Broadwell again led the way in assists, with 23 and 20, respectively.
Hewson’s 18 digs were a team best, though she was closely followed by Mackenzie Weinman (16) and Broadwell (12).
FHSU jumped out early in the first set, leading 4-0, and eventually stretching the lead to eight (14-6). Northwestern, though, would rally to tie the match, 17-17. After back-and-forth play until 20-20, the Tigers rolled off five unanswered, including two service aces by Chelsea Payne, to nab the set point, 25-20.
Although they lead by as many as six late in the second frame, FHSU couldn’t pick up the second set, allowing Northwestern to rally from 22-16 to 24-24. The Rangers would then capitalize on two FHSU attack errors to snag the second set.
After dropping a disappointing second set, the Tigers roared out to a 9-0 lead in the third, sparked by three block assists by Ulrich and Mares (and one solo block by Ulrich). Though Northwestern would rally to within three (11-8), FHSU would not relinquish the lead, using spurts of four and five unanswered points to take the third set, 25-17.
Down 0-2 in the fourth game, the Tigers rattled off a 12-1 run (including a 10-0 stretch) to regain the advantage, 12-3. FHSU would lead by as many as 11 in the set (20-9), and take the match, 25-16.
The Tigers are off the remainder of the week before heading to Stephens College on Oct. 17 for a 7 p.m. matchup.
— FHSU Sports Information —