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Monday, May 30, 2016

Tigers salvage league split on Senior Night

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fort Scott senior Shelby Nafzger (45) tries to get the ball past a double team by Iola's Kendra Taciet (23) and Kelsey Larson during the third match of a Southeast Kansas League triangular Thursday night at the FSHS gymnasium. Nafzger had three kills in the match, a 25-13, 25-20 sweep for the Tigers.
(Kenny Felt/Captured Images)
Fort Scott High's volleyball team finally played its first home matches Thursday night. But when one's first home matches are also a player's Senior Night, the pressure to play well may be tougher than usual.

The Tigers lost to Chanute, 25-17, 25-17, in their first match and struggled with Iola in a 25-13, 25-20 win in Southeast Kansas League Triangular.

Had Fort Scott not been awarded a Sub-State Tournament, which will take place on Sept. 25, this would have been the only time they played at home all season.

"I think the girls were so excited to be able to play here at home and have their parents and their friends be here," Fort Scott head coach Carol Bingesser said. "Then, when things didn't start off so well, it was all of a sudden, panic. And then it just went downhill from there."

Chanute won the opening match over Iola, 25-23, 25-18, rallying to win the first game after facing a 23-20 deficit.

The Tigers (5-3 SEK, 19-11 overall) stepped onto the court and found themselves in an 11-4 hole early on. Chanute's passing game was making things easy for its setter, Taylor Vallier, to get the ball to her hitters.

The Tigers scored consecutive points with their offense only once in the first game. Then The Blue Comets (6-2, 23-10) jumped out quickly in the second game in much the same fashion as in the first, going up 12-4. In this one, Fort Scott never scored twice in a row with the serve.

"We never, even once, during the Chanute match looked like we were ever going to come around," Bingesser said.

Annie Gladbach led the Tigers with four kills in the Chanute match while Sammi Therwhanger, Jenna Campbell and Mallory Shelton each had two. Brittany BIngesser had nine assists. Courtney Carpenter had seven digs while Monica Dikeman had six.

Vallier handed out 18 assists for Chanute. Chrissy Thomen had eight kills for the Comets and Savana Cook and Amy Weilert each had four.

The first game of the Iola match started out well as a back-to-back kills by Shelby Nafzger capped an opening 7-2 run.

But the Tigers had trouble pulling away. The Fillies (3-5, 11-16) were able to get back within 19-12 with a bit of a rally. But Fort Scott managed to get a final 6-1 run to end it.

Despite jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the second game, the Tigers struggled in the second game. Iola tied it with a six-point run of its own and eventually held a 14-10 lead.

The Tigers still trailed 20-17 before things began to turn. Iola served the ball into the net and never had the serve again.

"This was the second time we've seen Iola," Bingesser said. "And we played well against them (at the Ottawa Tournament). But it hurt us that Annie wasn't on. And when Annie's not on, everybody else is playing safe. They go away from their game plans. I have to get them so that they do their thing even when other things break down.

"I honestly thought we were ready to play. I thought we were past the mental stuff. But I guess we're not. So we're going to start back over again tomorrow."

Gladbach, who's had many games with double-digit kill totals, only had four in this match as well. Nafzger and Therwhanger had three each.

Bingesser had 11 assists and served a pair of aces during the run that opened the second game. Mallory Shelton had three blocks while Bingesser and Gladbach had had two. Dikeman and Nafzger each had a pair of digs.

With the sweep, Chanute kept a slim chance at getting a share of a league championship alive. But the league co-leaders going into the night, Pittsburg and Labette County, were playing in the same triangular at Parsons. The Comets needed one of them to split and the other to get swept in order to share the title.

The Tigers will play their final regular-season matches at the Anderson County Tournament.

In junior varsity play, Fort Scott swept Chanute, 25-16, 25-21, and Iola, 25-20, 25-22. These were the JV's last matches of the year.

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