TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin volleyball's 2019 home opener was spoiled by the University of Indianapolis on Friday evening, as the Greyhounds came back from two sets down to defeat the Dragons 3-2 (20-25, 12-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-12).
UIndy, receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division II poll, improves to 7-1 on the season, while TU falls to 4-5.
After hitting over .300 as a team in the first two sets, the Dragons were below .200 for sets three and four to allow the Greyhounds to climb back into the match. TU executed extremely well in the second set, forcing sideout in 11 out of 12 chances (91%) while hitting .324. Aces and blocks were both even for the two sides, with each team recording five aces and UIndy holding a slim 10-9 advantage in total blocks.
UIndy started the first set strong, racing out to a 7-4 advantage on a kill by Jacquay Taylor. With Jenna Huffman and Kyndall Hellyer serving, the Dragons responded with a 7-1 run to take a 14-8 lead after a Hellyer ace. Tiffin managed to control the rest of the set and keep the margin at five or above, eventually taking it by the 25-20 score.
Set two was all Dragons, as the home team took leads of 6-1, 8-2, and 15-8, before putting up seven unanswered points to go up 22-8. Moments later, a Grace Schreiber kill finished off the set and gave Tiffin a 2-0 advantage.
Set three was a tight battle throughout, with 13 total ties and three lead changes in the frame. Neither team held a lead of more than two until Tiffin was able to take a 21-18 advantage late in the set. The Greyhounds would not give up, though, rallying for seven of the next nine points to take the set 25-23 and stay alive.
Tiffin would take an 11-10 lead midway through set four, but the rest of the frame belonged to UIndy as a six unanswered points sparked a 12-3 run that put the visitors up 22-14. That deficit proved to be too large for Tiffin to overcome, as the Greyhounds took the set 25-17.
UIndy took an early 7-2 lead in the deciding set, but Tiffin would battle back and cut the margin to just two at 14-12 on another Hellyer ace. Hellyer's next serve would be into the net, however, as the Greyhounds took the final set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Jenna Huffman led all players with 24 kills and a .364 hitting percentage for the match. She also added 14 digs and four total blocks for TU. Hellyer finished with 17 kills, two aces, and eight digs, while Sam Fallis contributed a team-high 24 digs. Loryn Huffman handled the setter duties, dishing out 47 on the night.
Tiffin will be back in action tomorrow as they travel to Findlay for day one of the Tiffin/Findlay Tournament, where they are set to play the nightcap against Illinois-Springfield at 7:00 p.m. The tournament will shift over to Tiffin and the Gillmor Center on Sunday, with four total matches occuring but the Dragons only participating in the final one at 4:30 p.m., taking on Seton Hill.