PSU beat Fort Hays, faces Washburn at home next

Dakota Smith | reporter

The Pittsburg State Gorilla volleyball team went 1-2 in its three-game road trip on Sept. 17 against Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Okla., announcing the start of regular season conference play.
The first game of MIAA play against the Bronchos ended with a break in the team’s three-game winning streak as it lost the match with scores of 25-19, 25-20 and 25-20.
Sophomore Crystal Whitten led the Gorillas with 14 kills and senior Abbie Smith added nine more kills to the Pitt State total. Sophomore Haley Hansford had 30 assists with senior Jordan Rehm leading the team with 19 digs.
Pitt State was outhit by Central Oklahoma with the Gorillas hitting a .136 compared to the Bronchos’ .298.
“Our execution was not at the level we wanted it to be,” said Ibraheem Suberu, head coach.
The Gorillas then took on fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney on Friday, Sept. 20.
Pitt State lost in straight sets by scores of 25-11, 25-21, 25-14.
Whitten was again in the top standings for the Gorillas with 10 kills and added eight digs to the team’s total. Rehm led the Gorillas with 11 digs and Hansford added 17 assists.
Pitt State was outhit by Nebraska-Kearney .257 to.040.
The road trip ended on Saturday, Sept. 21, against Fort Hays State.
The Gorillas won their first conference match of the year by sweeping the Tigers with scores of 25-22, 25-14, 26-24.
Whitten had a double-double for the Gorillas with 18 kills and 12 digs. Freshman Madison Mosier had 10 kills and Smith added six kills. Hansford again led the Gorillas in assists with 33 and Rehm led Pitt State in digs with 17.
“We have a team capable of making changes within a short time, we just have to execute on a consistent basis,” Suberu said.
Pitt State has a current record of 4-7 and 1-2 in the MIAA standings.
Whitten is second in the MIAA in kills with 4.19 per set. Rehm also placed second in the MIAA in digs with 5.11 digs per set.
“Our biggest challenge is not so much about the opponent,” Suberu said. “It is about us executing our part at a consistent level.”
The Gorillas will return to John Lance Arena at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, to take on the No. 13 Ichabods of Washburn University.
PSU will face Emporia State at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

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