TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin volleyball did not disappoint a raucous home crowd in their first home conference tournament quarterfinal match in program history, defeating rival Findlay 3-1 (25-18, 20-15, 25-18, 25-18) to advance to the semifinals of the GMAC Championships.
Seeded second, the Dragons took on a tough seven-seeded Oilers squad that may have been better than their record indicated, but it would not matter in the end as Tiffin earned the victory over their local rival for the second time this season.
Tiffin now advances to the semifinals to take on three-seed Walsh, whom they defeated handily last Friday in a 3-0 sweep at home. The Cavaliers struggled with six-seed Trevecca Nazarene in tonight's quarterfinal, as the Trojans took them to five sets before Walsh took the final frame 15-12. The semifinal and final matches will all be played at Hillsdale as the Chargers are the top seed in the tournament and still alive after holding off 8-seed Malone in four sets.
Tonight's match was close from start to finish, but Tiffin did have a significant edge on the attack, hitting .235 to Findlay's .163. The Dragons also had five more digs, 105-100, than the Oilers, and picked up three aces while allowing just one.
Jenna Huffman tallied 21 kills on the evening for an average of 5.23 per set, increasing her Division II-leading totals to 522 kills and 4.75 k/s on the year. Her kills total is a new GMAC single-season record and currently fourth-best in a season in Tiffin history, within just 17 of second-place. She also nearly had as many digs as kills, coming one shy of her career-high with 20 while also earning an ace.
Sam Fallis was incredible on the back line, registering a career-best 33 digs (8.25 per set) while also dishing out five assists. Loryn Huffman tallied 48 assists and 14 digs, Kyndall Hellyer and Alicia Kessler each added 13 kills, and Grace Schreiber recorded eight kills and four blocks in the winning effort for TU.
Findlay came to play early in the match, taking a 14-13 lead in the first set. Tiffin then rallied with six-straight points, including two kills from Huffman, to go up five. The Dragons would ride that momentum to the finish, taking the set 25-18.
Set two was tied at 18 late, but Findlay scored seven of the final nine points of the frame to even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was similar to the first, with neither team able to take much of a lead in the early going. The Dragons pulled away momentarily with a 19-14 advantage, but Findlay stormed back with four-straight to cut the deficit to one. Tiffin stopped the run right there, however, ending the set on a 6-0 run to win 25-18.
With momentum and the crowd on their side, the Dragons took care of business in set four, taking leads of 16-8 and 21-12 before finally winning the set 25-18 to earn the victory in the match.