HAYS, Kan. – The Fort Hays State volleyball team opened the 2019 Tiger Classic with one win and one loss Friday inside Gross Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers were unable to solve Chadron State, falling in three sets, before taking down Southern Arkansas in a three-set sweep in the nightcap. FHSU moves to 2-4 on the year with the split, while the Eagles improves to 4-1 and the Muleriders dip to 1-4 overall.
The action continues with six more matches beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. The Tigers will take to the court at 1 p.m. against Western Colorado before wrapping up their non-conference schedule with Northwestern Oklahoma State at 7:30 p.m. A full schedule for day 2 of the 2019 Tiger Classic can be found here.
Fort Hays State 3, Southern Arkansas 0 (25-10, 25-17, 26-24)
The Tigers came out of the gates on fire in the second match of the day, posting a .391 attack percentage to win the opening set in convincing fashion. FHSU was equally as efficient on defense, blocking four shots and holding the Muleriders to a -.120 swing rate in the opening frame.
After leading the first set wire-to-wire, the Tigers once again never trailed in the second frame. Fort Hays State took advantage of 10 SAU attack errors, building a lead and never letting go.
The Black and Gold seemed poised to run away with the third set after capturing the first six points. But the Muleriders slowly chipped into the lead, ultimately earning a chance at set point with a 24-23 lead. Tatum Bartels leveled the score with a booming kill out of a timeout before another SAU miscue gave the Tigers a serve for the match. Delaney Humm finished things off with one final kill and secured the first home win of the season.
Humm led the team with 13 kills, posting an impressive .476 swing percentage. Katie Darnell tossed up a team-high 18 assists while Haley McCorkle added 12. Kayla Vitztum dropped in three service aces in addition to four kills and two blocks.
The Tigers finished the match with a season-best .277 attack percentage to go along with six blocks and three service aces. FHSU held the Muleriders to a -.012 swing rate on the day.
Chadron State 3, Fort Hays State 0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-23)
The Tigers had kept pace with the Eagle offense all afternoon, recording 38 kills to Chadron’s 40. But the discrepancy in errors made a big impact, with FHSU recording 23 attack errors and Chadron State putting up just 12 miscues. The Eagle front line was a big cause of the headache, recording nine team blocks.
The Tigers recorded a .140 attack percentage in the loss, while Chadron countered with a .264 attack percentage. Delaney Humm led the team with 11 kills, Tatum Bartels added six and Kayla Vitztum totaled six.