Lady Blues drop Fort Hayes State

Kyle Kelly

The No. 4 ranked Washburn Lady Blues took to court at Lee Arena last Tuesday to play their first round conference tournament match against the Fort Hays State Tigers.

The Tigers put a good fight, but eventually fell to the Lady Blues in four sets, 25-21, 22-25, 29-27, 25-19.

Sophomore middle hitter, Marissa Cox, was able to surpass her previous career high in kills pretty handily, as she tallied 27 kills Tuesday night. 

“Abby was delivering very good sets and I was just feeling it,” said Cox. “She was delivering the ball really well and we were connecting really well.” 

Cox finished off a brilliant first set with 10 kills, while scoring the last six points of that set. Her hitting percentage of .641 gave her the highest in school history with 30 or more attempts. Cox also only accounted for two errors.

It was a tightly battled match, as there were 32 ties and 13 lead changes. The Tigers were able to use a 9-0 to eventually take the second match from the Lady Blues and tie it up one set apiece. 

Washburn trailed late in the third set at 27-26 to Fort Hays before rallying for three straight points from Jessica Fey and Jessica Koop and a block from Fey and Peterson to seal the set, 29-27.

The fourth set saw 11 ties between the Lady Blues and the Tigers. Washburn pulled together a late 5-0 run to make it 23-17. On match point, Cox delivered her 27 and final kill to send home the Tigers and to continue the Lady Blues’ run in the MIAA tournament.

Jessica Fey totaled 13 kills and Jessica Kopp added 10. Courtney Churchman led the team with 23 digs and Abby Wittman contributed 38 assists and 13 digs for a double-double. Gracie Peterson had a career-high four blocks.

“We just need to remember that this game is fun, we need to play for us and we need to calm down,” said Witman. “We can’t hope that they’re going to make the errors since we’re the higher team. We just need to remember to play our game.”

Madison Schwartz led the Tigers with 17 kills and added 19 digs for a double-double. Fort Hays State out-blocked Washburn 12-11 as the Tigers had three players with five or more. The Lady Blues led in both kills and digs, 66-58 and 92-88. Senior Hillary Hughes led the Lady Blues with three aces. 

The Lady Blues traveled to Nebraska-Kearney on Friday to take on the No. 8 Central Missouri Jennies in the second round of the conference tournament. Five Lady Blues reached double figure kill totals but they eventually fell to Central Missouri in five sets, 25-22, 24-26, 13-25, 25-23, 15-11.