Washburn volleyball tames Tigers in sweep over Fort Hays


Jesse Bruner

Big point: Washburn middle hitter Allison Maxwell celebrates with Washburn middle hitter Kelsey Gordon Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at Lee Arena in Topeka, Kansas. The duo combined for 19 kills in the Ichabods’ 3-0 victory.

After falling to number two in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, Washburn volleyball returned home for an evening match against Fort Hays State. After dropping a match over the weekend the Ichabods entered at 18-2 on the year while the Tigers were an even 10-10.

Washburn was out of sorts early in the first set, falling down 4-1. The deficit grew to as many as four points, causing the Ichabods to take a timeout with the score 12-8. They would rally back to tie the set at 15 and then take a 17-16 lead.

Washburn’s offense was not the problem, with an attack percent over 0.320 orchestrated by senior setter Allison Sadler with 12 early assists and a kill of her own. The end of the set would be Ichabod dominated as they won the final five points, winning 25-19. Sadler had 15 assists in the set while senior middle hitter and senior outside hitter Kelsey Gordon and Genna Berg each had four kills.

“I think forcing the middle early helped and our passers did a really good job in this game of getting me up at the net, so I had all three options most of the time,” said Sadler, who reached 3,000 career assists the weekend prior.

The second set began with a split of the first ten points for each team. The next four points belonged to Washburn before Fort Hays took a timeout. Berg was big for the Ichabods early in the set, picking up four quick kills. The lead would grow to double digits before closing out the set 25-14. Berg finished with four kills in the set while Sadler added 10 more assists.

Washburn played catch up early on to tie the third set at 7-7 before taking the next three points. The Tigers would stay close through the middle of the set but would never completely catch up and would fall 25-18.

“Berg was pretty good tonight huh, and plus (Jalyn) Stevenson after the first set was really good, she had two big stuff blocks,” said Head Coach Chris Herron. “Fitz (Sydney Fitzgibbons) was good and early they couldn’t stop (Kelsey) Gordon and then we have Faith (Rottinghaus), so, I keep saying that.”

Up front Berg, senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell and freshman outside hitter Jalyn Stevenson all knocked down ten kills. Behind them Sadler finished with 39 assists and senior libero Faith Rottinghaus recorded 16 digs in a clean showing.

Next up for the Ichabods is a battle with the number three ranked University of Central Missouri on Oct. 21.

“I didn’t say it in our serve and pass but it would behoove us to get out of here early so that we can get our rest,” said Herron. “We want to be physically ready as well as mentally because it’s a huge game.”

Edited by :-Simran Shrestha, Katrina Johnson