By: Jesse Baird, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of towsontigers.com
Towson’s 2017 season concluded Friday night with a 3-0 loss to Syracuse in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) in Hamilton, New York.
The Tigers had won their first postseason match in school history a day earlier, beating Colgate 3-2 in the opening round of the NIVC to capture their 27th win of the year.
In Friday’s loss to Syracuse, Towson kept the sets close but couldn’t pull ahead, losing closely by scores of 22-25, 22-25 and 23-25. Senior Julymar Otero recorded 9 kills, 20 assists and five digs. Jocelyn Kuilan also finished with 9 kills, and redshirt junior Anna Holehouse posted a match-best 18 digs.
The Tigers were held to a .106 hitting percentage in the match, while the Orange posted a .274. The Tigers were also beaten in the blocking battle, with the Orange posting 11 blocks to the Tigers’ 3.
Thursday, Towson made a come-from-behind 3-2 (18-25, 15-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-11) victory vs. Colgate in the opening round of the NIVC. Otero finished with 10 kills, 13 digs and six assists. Sophomore Marrisa Wonders had 26 assists and 10 digs, and Holehouse ended with 20 digs. Otero recorded her 13th double-double on the year, and Wonders her 15th on the year.
With the win, Towson improved to 4-0 in five-set matches this season. The team held Colgate to a .193 hitting percentage in the match, making it a perfect 20-0 when Towson held its opponent to a sub-.200 hitting percentage.
The match against Colgate was the first postseason appearance for Towson since the 2004 NCAA Division I Tournament.
Finishing with 27 wins on the season, the 2017 squad ties third-most in program history. This is the second time Towson has reached this win total under head coach Don Metil, tying his win total for the 2014 season.
With the loss to Syracuse, Towson;s season ended with a record of 27-6. The loss also marked the final match for seniors Otero and Payton Windell.
Despite the loss of some key players, the Tigers will have All-CAA honorees Kuilan and Holehouse returning to play next season.