Fort Scott Community College's volleyball team played perhaps its best set of the season during a Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division match with Butler at Arnold Arena Wednesday night. But the Greyhounds' inconsistency in the other four sets allowed the Grizzlies to escape with a 3-2 verdict.
Fort Scott won the opening set, 25-23. Butler took the second, 25-21. The 'Hounds captured the third set 25-6 but the Grizzlies won the remaining sets, 25-16, 15-8.
Fort Scott (1-6 East, 4-16 overall) took a 4-0 lead in the first set but Butler (6-2, 15-9) began to expose gaps in the center of the court and rallied to go ahead 9-7.
The 'Hounds then took advantage of Butler's inconsistency and reclaimed the lead at 14-10. But the Grizzlies later used a 6-1 run to take the lead again, 23-22.
The 'Hounds hit a ball out of bounds, which would have given Butler its 24th point but one of the Grizzlies ran into the net on the opposite side of the court, which gave the point to Fort Scott instead, tying the match. Jessica Garrett gave the 'Hounds the lead when she caught Butler off guard on a tip, then the win on a block.
Butler started the second game with better hitting and a few ace serves as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead. The 'Hounds managed to come back to get within 17-16 on a kill by Katie Van Lue. The Grizzlies pulled away again, making it 24-19 before committing a couple of errors for Fort Scott points. A kill finally evened the match.
Butler scored the first point of the third set but Van Lue's kill gave the 'Hounds serve and they held it for 12 consecutive points as they claimed a 13-2 lead. Tanessa Esry served five aces during that run.
Butler scored consecutive points just once in the set and the 'Hounds closed it out with a 7-0 run.
The Grizzlies took a 6-2 lead in the fourth set as they were able to block Fort Scott at the net. The lead grew to 15-7 before a Van Lue tip fell, which sparked a 5-0 run.
Brittany Brown, a 6' 3" sophomore, began to take control at the net for Butler. She had a kill to end the fourth set, then had four more during an early run the fifth that put the Grizzlies ahead 8-3.
After the teams switch sides -- which is done in the fifth set in college once one team gets to 8 points -- Fort Scott took advantage of a couple of errors to get within 9-7 as Brown was in the back row. But then Amanda Newlin and Jenna Gannon, who are 6' 0" and 6' 3", respectively, took over up front and gave Butler some needed kills to finish out the match.
Kayla Tarwater finished with 10 kills to lead the Greyhounds as they tried more attacks from the outside to try and avoid the tall blockers on the inside. As a result, Van Lue, a middle hitter who normally leads in kills, had just 6.
Esry served 7 aces in the match and also handed out 16 assists. Tarwater, Garrett and Van Lue had 3 blocks each.
The Greyhounds step out of conference play Monday night when they play a return match at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami. Fort Scott defeated NEO in 4 sets on Sept. 27. They will be back at Arnold Arena next Wednesday night for another conference match at 6:30 p.m. against Labette.