(Fort Scott Community College photo/Kathleen Hinrichs)
Saturday in Nevada, they swept host Cottey College, 25-23, 25-12, 25-16, and Stephens College, 25-21, 25-23, 25-14, starting off a bit slow as the first game scores suggest but getting stronger as the match went on.
Monday night at Arnold Arena, the 'Hounds started strong and stayed up in dominating visiting Hesston, 25-12, 25-13, 25-13.
"As long as we run the tempo, as long as we control the game, we do well," Fort Scott head coach Lindsay Hill said.
The Greyhounds (18-6) were as strong on defense as on offense and in from the back row to the front as all aspects of their game seemed to click.
"We had a lot of things we did well tonight, which was good," Hill said. "This past weekend we did a lot of things well and tonight, we did a lot of things well. So we want to continue that on through the (rest of) the season."
In the third game, up by as many as 15 points, Hill even had the opportunity put in some players who don't normally get a lot of floor time and they managed to keep the momentum going.
Six-one freshman Paula Okrutna, from Poland, was especially dominant. She landed kills all over the floor, coming hard, then occasionally catching the Larks (5-16) back with a tip in front of them.
"She's a smart player," Hill said. "Right now, she's dominant. She can see the court very well. She's putting the ball where it's supposed to go."
Hesston, a Division II independent that plays in Region VI for post-season play, seldom strung runs together, although it did go out to a 3-1 lead in the first game. It turned out this would be the only time the Larks would enjoy the lead all night. Fort Scott scored the next five and never trailed again (the closest that came to happening was a 1-1 tie very early in the second game).
The 'Hounds pulled away with 10-2 run to go up 21-10. Okrutna wasn't the only one getting kills as Ali Cure had two during this run.
Okrutna got kills for the 23rd and 24th point and Cure's block landed on Hesston's side to end game one.
After the early 1-1 tie in game two, Fort Scott scored 13 of the next 15. Heather Greer and Amber Thomas stepped up for kills in this game.
Fort Scott scored the first 4 points of the third game. Hesston tried to stay in it but a couple of Lark errors returned serve to the 'Hounds and gave them a couple of points. Then Cure, Taylyn Schwartz and Heather Greer recorded the next three kills as Fort Scott scored 10 of 11 points in a stretch that boosted the lead to 19-5.
Okrutna led Fort Scott with 16 kills while Thomas finished the night with 10. Schwartz, the Greyhounds' setter, dished out 28 assists. Cure had 2 blocks.
The 'Hounds travel to Butler Wednesday night for a Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division match that begins at 6:30 p.m. Fort Scott won't be at home again until Oct. 26 when they host Kansas City Kansas in the first of three straight home duals to end the regular season.
NOTES -- For those familiar with the Jayhawk Conference basketball set up, which has Butler in the Western Division, the Grizzlies play in the East in volleyball because all the other West schools play at the Division I level. All 10 of the Eastern Division schools play at the Division II level and Butler would have to play all of them -- and Hesston -- for post-season seeding purposes anyway, so it's easier on the Grizzlies if they play in the East....
Fort Scott plays on the road the next six dates its scheduled to play. In addition to Wednesday's match at Butler, FSCC also goes to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Saturday, Labette Oct. 12, a tournament at East Central (Mo.) Oct. 14-15, and to Neosho County Oct. 19.
The KCK match on the 26th is the last conference match. The 'Hounds will also host Cottey Oct. 28 and NEO A&M Oct. 29. All three of those duals are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. starts....