(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
The Greyhounds stand at 5-0 following their first victory over Highland since 2004.
All three sets were tight early. The first was tied seven times, the last at 8-8 when Ashley Bell's kill gave the 'Hounds the serve, igniting a 4-0 run.
"Our upperclassmen stepped up a little bit," Fort Scott second-year head coach Lindsay Hill said. "They made a decision to earn the points and they also created a few (Highland) errors in our favor. And we just took the momentum and we ran with it."
The second set was tied five times, the last at 6-6. Sophomore Taylyn Schwartz recorded a kill on a tip which caught the Scotties (1-1) off guard. Fort Scott scored the next 4 points, claiming the lead for good. Highland got within one point twice more, at 14-13 and again at 15-14, but made crucial errors which kept it from tying the score.
Freshman Haylee Toothman scored 4 points in a row -- two kills and a pair of aces -- as the 'Hounds went up 21-15.
The third set was tight early on but this time Fort Scott never trailed. Highland managed to tie it once at 6-6 but gave the advantage back on a long serve.
Highland was within 16-12 but couldn't get any closer as Fort Scott took control with its blocking. Of the 11 blocks the 'Hounds had in the match, they had seven in the third set.
The blocking helped Fort Scott extend the lead to 21-12. Highland scrapped back to within 23-16 but Ali Cure's kill gave serve back to the 'Hounds and a Highland error closed out the match.
"We really focused this week on blocking," Hill said. "It was one of our weaknesses in our tournament. Our girls focused hard on what we had to go. We talked about it before the game and we applied it in the game, which was good to see."
Fort Scott was also more aggressive in general with Schwartz, the setter, feeling confident in giving anyone on the front line a chance to put things away. Toothman had 13 kills, Bell 10 and Cure 6. Schwartz handed out 24 assists.
Meanwhile, the Scotties looked as if they were looking too much to get the ball to their outside hitter, Erica Rottinghouse. While she did put away most of what was set to her, if the Scotties didn't get the ball to her they were more likely to just send the ball over the net and set things up again.
Bell also had the most blocks for the 'Hounds as she finished with 4. Toothman, Cure and Chanute freshman Dani Rubow each had 2. Toothman also served 2 aces.
The Greyhounds will be in Texas this weekend for the Vernon Tournament. Last season, they split four matches there, beating the No. 1-ranked team in NJCAA Division III.
NOTES -- The win over Highland gives Hill a 30-10 record as FSCC head coach. Prior to her arrival, Fort Scott had won just 30 of its previous 181 matches over a period of just over six seasons....