Sept. 19, 2008
Ryan Leads Bearcats with 16 Kills in 3-1 Win Against Fort Hays
MARYVILLE, Mo. - A start-to-finish lead and a .526 team hitting percentage in the second set started the Bearcats to three-straight set victories in a 3-1 defeat of Fort Hays in the home-opener at Bearcat Arena tonight.
Northwest (4-9, 1-1) earns its first win of the MIAA season in the first home appearance in 14 matches. The Tigers (6-4, 1-1) move to 0-2 all-time in Bearcat Arena.
Fort Hays State put together a 14-2 run midway through the first set to take a 20-12 lead. A five-point Bearcat rally off the serving of Sage Diessner brought the score to 20-16, but it would provide too large a deficit to overcome in a 25-20 loss in the opening set.
The Bearcats and Tigers tied through the first three points in the second set before Northwest slowly built up a 9-7 lead. A 9-1 rally, led by three kills from Amber Ryan put the Bearcats up 18-8. Katie Swenson served back-to-back service aces on another six-point run to get Northwest to set point before committing a service error. But Rachel Nisi would end the set on a kill on the next rally for a 25-10 Bearcat victory in set two.
Northwest saw a four-point lead slip away in the third set after Fort Hays tied the match on blocks from Tracie Hileman and Alissa Tonniges at 22-22. The Tigers earned set point at 26-25 on a kill from Lilian Rezende, but a service error allowed Northwest to score the final three points for a 28-26 victory in the third set.
Fort Hays used a four-point rally in the fourth set to take a 10-8 lead and gradually expanded it to 16-12. But Northwest would score 18 of the next 19 points, five from kills and three from blocks, to claim a 25-17 victory and a 3-1 match win.
Ryan led Northwest with 16 kills and hit greater than .400 for the fourth time this season at .407. Swenson recorded a match-high 44 assists while Paige Spangenberg led all players with a season-best 20 digs for a four-set match. Amy Bohnker saw action in all three games led all plays with a season-best six blocks. Northwest hit a season-best .218 as a team.
The Bearcats remain at home tomorrow to entertain No. 14 Emporia State. The Hornets (12-1, 2-0) swept Missouri Western earlier tonight in St. Joseph, Mo.
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Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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