Griffon Volleyball sweeps Fort Hays at home opener

By Kyle Inman

September 19, 2011

[caption id="attachment_5917" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="On the last play of the match, the Griffons celebrate winning their third and final game over Fort Hayes winning the night 3-0."][/caption] The Griffon volleyball team swept conference opponent Fort Hays State  Saturday in the first home game of the season with scores of 25-17, 26-24, 25-21. The team improved their record to 5-4 overall and 1-0 in MIAA conference play.

“We looked good overall. We need to eliminate some errors that we can control on our side, but overall I'm happy with the performance," Coach Cory Frederick said. "We need to win all these games that we can right now.”

Seniors Tahler Johnston and Alexandra Behnke led the way for the Griffons. Johnston finished the day with 12 kills and Behnke with 11. Other contributers were Hannah Zimmerman with eight kills and Meredith McCormick and Shelby Corkill with seven kills each.

Stephanie Hattey finished with 39 of the Griffon's 42 assists on the day. Sarah Faubel had 16 digs.

“I think it was good for the freshman and the newcomers to get a feel for what our home court was like and we will just come out stronger every time,” Johnston said.

Game one was played even by both teams with the score tied at 8-8. Western went on a run and was able to grab a 15-9 lead after a kill by Hattey. It didn't look back and went on to win the set 25-17. Johnston had five kills in the first game.

The second game provided the biggest scare of the day for the Griffons. Western went up 5-1 in the second set after two kills from Behnke. The Tigers battled back and took a 13-12 lead and were ahead the rest of the way until the very end. With the match on the line, the Griffons kept composure and scored the last four points of the match to end it at 26-24. Western had 16 kills on the match with Behnke and Zimmerman scoring four each.

“It's nice to see them not give up and play all the way through to the end of the game," Frederick said. "We had 14 errors on our side of the net during the second set, which is something we need to eliminate. I think we can make it not so close next time.”

The third set started out close, tied at nine all.  After a Western kill from Zimmerman, it took a 14-11 lead and the two teams played even until the end after that. The final score of the third game was 25-21 Griffons.

The Griffon's next two games are both against tough MIAA conference opponents on the road. Friday they will play at Emporia State and Saturday they play at Washburn.

All Photos by: Jason Brown For more photos see: http://www.gogriffons.com/gallery.asp?sport=Volleyball&year=2011&album=Volleyball11-FHSU9-17-11 [gallery]