TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin volleyball bounced back from their loss last Friday with a huge sweep of Walsh on Senior Night, defeating the Cavaliers 25-16, 25-18, 25-16.
Walsh had a one game lead over Tiffin coming into the match in the race for the second seed in next week's GMAC Championships, but the Dragons thoroughly dismantled the Cavaliers on the evening, racing out to early double digit leads in both sets one and three while using a late run to take set two.
At 9-2 in conference play, the Dragons now hold the second seed via the head-to-head tiebreaker over Walsh. Tiffin controls their own destiny for that second spot, as a win over Malone in the regular season finale tomorrow afternoon would secure the seed.
Walsh came into the match second in the conference in both kills and hitting percentage, but Tiffin subdued the Cavalier attack far below their season averages with just a .133 hitting percentage. Tiffin, on the other hand, outperformed their season average with a percentage of .291 on the night. The Dragons were also able to force side out on over 60% of Walsh's serves in all three sets, including 13-16 (81%) in the decisive set three.
Jenna Huffman led the Dragons with 21 kills, nine digs, and two blocks. Fellow seniors Brooke Berrington and Victoria Konan also got into the stat sheet, with Berrington recording a pair of assists and seven digs while Konan notched two kills and a solo block.
The Cavaliers got the first point of the match, but Tiffin came back with the first of many runs, scoring 11-straight including three kills from Huffman and two from Konan. Walsh was able to cut the deficit to seven, 19-12, but Tiffin's lead proved to be insurmountable as the Dragons took the 25-16 win.
Set two lived up to the top-GMAC battle billing of the match at the start, with the teams trading points before Walsh took a 10-8 lead midway through. Another streak was in order for the Dragons, however, as TU went on a 12-3 run to go up 20-13. The Cavaliers got a few points back in the end, but Tiffin still came away with the seven-point win to take a 2-0 lead.
Riding that momentum, the Dragons opened the third set on a 7-1 run and scored 10 of the first 12 points. That run consisted of five straight kills (Brie Wight, Alicia Kessler, Jenna Huffman x3) and an ace from Loryn Huffman as Tiffin went up 10-2. The Dragons were able to shut down every Cavalier comeback attempt for the rest of the set, keeping the lead around eight before taking the 25-16 win on another kill by Jenna Huffman.
As mentioned, Tiffin will host Malone at noon tomorrow to close out the regular season slate. After that, the Dragons will open postseason play next Tuesday by hosting a quarterfinal match, opponent and time yet to be determined.