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Volleyball defeats Fort Hays, defeated by Nebraska-Kearney

The volleyball team played two games over weekend. The first game was against Fort Hays State University on Friday, Nov 15 in Hays at 12 p.m. and the Gorillas won that game (3-1). The second and final game of the weekend was against University of Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game was in Kearney at 6 p.m. on Saturday and the Gorillas lost that game (2-3). These were the last two matches of the regular season.  

Head coach Jen Gomez was happy with the outcome of the game against Fort Hays on Friday and, despite losing to Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday, was happy to see the team fight through until the end.  

“Well, we won on Friday so that was good and Saturday we played one of our best volleyball games against Kearney,” Gomez said.  

According to Gomez, the team played very well on Saturday as far as playing aggressively and serving.  

“I thought, from Friday to Saturday, we played a lot more aggressive and I thought that we served extremely well,” Gomez said. “I thought we did a pretty good job executing our offense.”  

Serving tough and playing aggressively has been on Gomez’s radar since the beginning of the season and she has mentioned it several times throughout. The team was able to do both things well in the game against Nebraska-Kearney and Gomez hopes to see the team continue that momentum into the post season tournament.  

“… Well, we just have to continue to be strong offensively,” Gomez said. “We have to continue to pass well and we have to serve Washburn tough when we play them on Thursday.”  

In the game against Nebraska-Kearney, sophomore Meg Auten had 22 kills, sophomore Morgan Henning had 11, senior Erika Ivkov had nine, and sophomore Hope White had eight. Henning added three aces. Sophomore Brianna Richard had 26 assists, freshman Laura Willoughby had 24, sophomore Marissa Bates had 8, and junior Emily Regier had one. Ivkov had 25 digs, Bates had 22, Willoughby had 17, and Richard had 10. 

A couple of players stood out to Gomez during the games over the weekend.  

“I thought Marissa Bates played well,” Gomez said. “I thought that (on) Saturday Meg Auten really showed up. I thought for the most part our setters did a pretty good job too of delivering the ball.”  

The volleyball team is headed into the post season tournament now with the first game against Washburn on Thursday, Nov. 21 in Kansas City. The game is set to begin at 12 p.m.  

“Well, it’s post season tournament so I hope we play well, and I hope that we win,” Gomez said.  

These were the last games of the regular season for the volleyball team and Gomez is proud of the team for all the improvement she has seen over the course of the season.  

“I saw us make huge strides in the fact that I play a lot of young players and they got better, and I thought we started playing better as a team,” Gomez said. “I think that we’ve got a lot to build on as far as next year since we’re only losing one senior. I’m just proud of the team, I’m proud of them making the tournament and (I’m) looking forward to seeing how far we can go with it.” 

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