Right Side hitter Katelyn Schmidtberger spikes the ball past Fort Hays State University defenders Saturday night at White Auditorium. The Hornets beat the Tigers 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-14). Kellen Jenkins/The Bulletin.
The Emporia State University volleyball team took care of business in a big way last Saturday night, sweeping the Fort Hays State University Tigers, 3-0.
After defeating the Washburn Lady Blues the previous night, the Hornets were confident, but not too confident in their ability to stifle the Tigers’ attempt at victory.
“Before the game, we had a meeting, we told (the players), ‘Hey, don’t ever, ever underestimate your opponents, no matter who we play,” said Head Coach Bing Xu. “We’ve got to play our own game, keep at our own pace. They did that tonight.”
Junior right side hitter and nursing major Brittney Miller agreed.
“We know Washburn’s always big and everyone’s up on that game, but we know we have no room to slack and come and play a game like this and mess up,” Miller said. “We try to bring the same emotion to every game – every game’s a big game for us. That’s what we’re trying to work on.”
Junior middle hitter and biology and Spanish major Katelyn Kaiser noted the importance of consistent preparation, no matter the opponent.
“We prepare for every team the same way,” Kaiser said. “We try to be a consistent team when we play every team, it doesn’t matter if we’re playing West Texas A&M or Ft. Hays State. We just try to play consistent.”
The game was never really in doubt for the #8 ranked Hornets – the only hiccup came in the second set when the Tigers started off strong with a 5-2 lead. Xu called a timeout and had a pep talk with his team.
“I just told them, at that time, we were following their pace,” Xu said. “We need to pick up our pace…one point at a time. You can’t give up any easy, cheap points to the other side.”
“(Xu) just told us to wake up,” Kaiser said. “If we let a team like this have momentum, then we’re not going to win. We picked it up, though.”
Although the stats highlighted the Hornets’ dominance, Xu believed the game was harder than it appeared.
“Ft. Hays, they’re not an easy game, even though the score seems like, ‘Hey, you guys beat them pretty badly,’ but they’re not an easy game,” Xu said. “We have to perform. Right now, it’s all about our side of business.”
The win puts the team in a favorable position to compete and possibly win the MIAA Championship. Miller said she likes where the team is headed now.
“I feel like we’re at that point in the season where we’re kind of picking it up…as a team, I think we’re working really good together, and that’s what’s giving us a lot of wins,” Miller said. “I feel like we’re getting there. We still have work to do, as always, but we’re doing good.”
Middle Hitter Brianne Boner and Right Side hitter Katelyn Schmidtberger jump to block a spike by Fort Hays State University’s Brandi Bertrand Saturday night at White Auditorium. The Hornets beat the Tigers 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-14). Kellen Jenkins/The Bulletin.
Right Side hitter Brittney Miller spikes the ball past Fort Hays State University defenders Saturday night at White Auditorium. The Hornets beat the Tigers 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-14). Kellen Jenkins/The Bulletin.