Tiger volleyball splits day one in Texas


FHSU Athletics

DENTON, Texas — The Fort Hays State volleyball team recorded a 1-1 record on Friday’s opening day of Denton Volleyfest (September 2). The Tigers opened the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of East Central before falling in four tough sets to tournament host Texas Woman’s.

Riley Tinder recorded 25 casualties that day, with Jaden Daffer pace the team with 30 digs over the two matches. Jaïda Felix dished out 42 assists across seven sets, averaging 6.0 assists per frame on the day.

Fort Hays State wraps up a fast-paced non-conference schedule Saturday, Sept. 3 when the Tigers take on Ouachita Baptist at 1 p.m. and Northwest Oklahoma State at 7 p.m.

Fort Hays State 3, Central East 0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-19)
Fort Hays State took care of business in Game 1, easily dispatching East Central in straight sets. The Black and Gold Tigers recorded a .198 offense percentage while holding the Orange and Black Tigers to a .061 swing rate. FHSU averaged over three aces and three blocks in each set, compiling 11 aces and 10 blocks in the contest.

Several big FHSU runs helped the Tigers start to pull away in the first set, leading up to eight, 19-11. But East Central fought back with six points in a row to come within two, 20-18, before reducing the deficit to just one at 23-22. Fort Hays State responded by scoring the next two runs to secure the win with a kill from Gracie Rains and one Jaïda Felix have service.

The teams fought back and forth for the duration of the second set, with neither side leading by more than three until a furious FHSU rally late in the frame. Trailing 19-17, the Tigers have scored seven straight points up five. Mykah Echbaugh opened the race with a front kill Riley Tinder Tied things up with a solo block. Jaden Daffer followed by an ace of service before another Tinder block doubles the bet. Daffer then added another service ace before a block from Eshbaugh helped the Tigers reach the set point. Emily Ellis ended things with a kill two rallies later, giving FHSU a 2-0 lead.

Both teams made established runs in the third set, with Fort Hays State scoring three or more in a row four times and East Central doing it twice. FHSU did much of their damage behind the service line, with the Tigers combining for five service aces in the frame. ECU scored four straight to tie the score at nine before FHSU took the lead for good with a five-straight run. Another service ace Felix put a bow on the sweep, capping a 25-19 FHSU victory.

Felix was credited with seven service aces in the win, tied for second by a Tiger in the rally scorer era (since 2001). She also led the team with 15 assists and added six digs. Tinder paced the team with 12 kills and added seven digs, while Daffer tallied eight digs and four service aces.

Texas Woman’s 3, Fort Hays State 1 (19-25, 23-25, 25-21, 24-26)
The Tigers started slow to nearly force a deciding fifth set against Texas Woman’s University, but the Pioneers rallied late to win in four sets. Fort Hays State kept things close in the first set, but a 7-1 run late in the stanza helped the home side win 25-19.

Fort Hays State made a furious comeback in the second set, trailing 19-11 before coming back to tie at 20. Emily Ellis opened the race with a kill before teaming up with Caiya Stucky for a block. Stucky buried a kill two serves later before adding another block, this time alongside Morgan Christiansen. Riley Tinder had two kills later in the rally, while Stucky added one more and Emily Ellis dropped in an ace of service. The score remained tied until 22-22 before the Pioneers bounced back to go up 2-0, 25-23.

The teams traded punches again in the third set, with Fort Hays State delivering the final blow with six straight points to seal the 25-21 victory. TWU led most of the way, but three Tiger takedowns, a service ace and a pair of errors from Pioneer helped the Tigers claim victory.

Fort Hays State saved its best offense for last, with the Tigers combining for a .333 offense percentage in the final set thanks to 16 kills and just two errors. The defense, meanwhile, held TWU to a .233 swing rate in the final frame, including six errors.

The Tigers led the way in the blocks, going 10 to just eight for TWU.


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