Fort Scott Community College's volleyball team showed how tough it can be to beat them in the third set of a match with Cowley -- the second-ranked team in the NJCAA's Division II poll -- in a Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division match at Arnold Arena Wednesday night.
Cowley, however, demonstrated the worthiness of their ranking the rest of the night and took the best-of-5 match in four sets, 25-11, 25-11, 24-25, 25-7.
Long stretches where they didn't lose serve propelled the Tigers (4-0 East, 16-2 overall) in the first two games. But they couldn't get those extended runs in the third set as the 'Hounds (1-4, 2-11) scrapped and fought.
Cowley was so out of sync in the third game that a Kayla Case hit that was just meant to keep the ball alive floated gently to the other side of the net and landed just inside the line as two Tigers watched it float to earth. That put Fort Scott ahead 7-6 and Kayla Tarwater's kill off a ball that hit the net put the 'Hounds up by 2.
Cowley tied it again but the 'Hounds made it 15-8 after a run that ended with Jessica Cook's block.
Eventually, Cowley got back into the match and the score went back and forth for a while. Fort Scott got serve back on a Cook kill that tied it at 24-24. A Cowley error and Katie Van Lue's kill closed out that game.
But Cowley went out to a 14-1 lead in the fourth set and let FSCC score only 1 point while it had the serve in the set.
Tarwater finished with 10 kills for the 'Hounds. Tanessa Esry had 13 assists and Paige Clinton dished 11. Van Lue had 8 kills and 8 blocks.