(Kenny Felt/Captured Images)
The Tigers defeated Columbus in the opening match, 25-19, 25-19, as they had trouble getting going against the slow-paced Titans. Pittsburg also got caught up the Columbus' slow game at times but swept 25-13, 25-14.
The Dragons then beat the Tigers in three, 25-22, 22-25, 25-13.
Fort Scott (5-1 SEK, 18-11 overall) fought back from a 10-5 deficit in the second game against Pittsburg (3-1, 19-6) to tie the score at 14-14. But then the Dragons scored six of the next eight to reclaim the lead.
The Tigers went on a 6-0 run to take the lead at 22-20 and didn't trail again. Sammi Therwhanger's block landed to give the Tigers serve at 24-22 and Mallory Shelton's kill ended that game.
The third game was tied at 6-6 but Fort Scott gave Pittsburg a point and the serve on an error. Willis then scored five of Pittsburg's points in an 8-0 run that gave the Dragons control.
"We had a few moments where we let them make a little run on us," Fort Scott head coach Carol Bingesser said. "In that second game, I thought we played really well. But then, this last game that one rotation killed us. When Sammi's in the front row and we only have two hitters up front, that rotation kills us. We have to look at something else. We have to figure out what to do there because that's not working."
Willis had 15 kills for the Dragons in the match, 6 of them in the last game alone. Kelly Clark dished 23 assists.
Mallory Shelton had 10 kills and 4 blocks to lead the Tigers while Megan McDermed had 8 kills and Therwhanger had 6. Libby Halsey dished 25 assists.
Columbus (1-5, 3-19) only dressed six players for its varsity matches. That may have partly dictated the slow tempo, which the Tigers also struggled with when they played Coffeyville at home Sept. 24.
The Titans held a 10-5 lead in the first game before the Tigers finally stirred. They finally took a 16-13 lead with a 7-1 run. McDermed's kill on a free ball ended that game.
Columbus held an early lead in the second game as well, going up 9-6. The Tigers took the lead back but the Titans were still within 20-19 before Fort Scott finally managed to close them out.
"It was real slow and we played with that pace," Bingesser said. "For some reason, we can't step up and play our game. We kind of play according to whoever we play against. We've got to get past that. If we want to be a good team, we have to play at our own pace."
Shelton and McDermed had 5 kills each in the Columbus match while Therwhanger had 5. Halsey had 13 assists. Therwhanger and Marliss Allen each served 2 aces.
The Tigers will be idle until next Thursday, when they will travel to Chanute for their final SEK triangular. Iola will also be there.