By: Katrina Le, Staff Writer
Towson fell on the road to Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rivals Northeastern and Hofstra over the weekend, but defeated Elon at home last Monday.
“There is a lot of parity in the CAA this year so on any given night, if you don’t play your best, then you can get beat,”Head Coach Don Metil said. “If we don’t have ball control in a small gym environment, then the Huskies are going to press us.”
Saturday, Towson (15-5, 3-3 CAA) fell to Northeastern (15-5, 5-1 CAA) 3-2 in Boston.
The Tigers battled closely with the Huskies in the first set with seven ties and three lead changes. The Tigers found themselves down 10-7, but managed to execute an 8-2 run to take a 15-12 advantage.
Roles quickly reversed as the Huskies went on a 7-2 run to take a 19-17 lead. However, a kill by senior middle blocker Candace Steadman helped the Tigers to tie the score 22-22.
Later in the set, two blocks and a Tiger attack error helped the Huskies win the first set of the evening 25-22.
Junior outside hitter Payton Windell delivered a kill in the second set to give the Tigers a 10-6 lead. The Tigers later went on a 5-1 run to extend their lead to 20-16.
The Tigers ultimately claimed the second set 25-19 after an attack error by the Huskies to tie the match 1-1.
Towson opened up the third set with a 7-3 lead. Senior middle blocker Lindsay Flaherty pushed the Towson advantage to 14-7 with back to back kills.
Later in the set, Towson took a 19-8 lead thanks to a pair of service aces. Towson earned a 25-13 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth set, the Huskies came out with a 12-6 lead and later extended it to 16-9 after a kill from freshman outside hitter Brigitte Burcescu. The Huskies won the set 25-17 to tie the match at 2-2.
The fifth set opened with an 8-3 lead in favor of the Huskies, but the Tigers managed to come back within one point at 8-7.
After a 3-0 run by the Huskies, freshman middle blocker Amy Underdown delivered a kill to give the Huskies a 15-10 set win and 3-2 win over the Tigers.
With 12 kills, 14 digs and two service aces from senior outside hitter Jessica Lewis and 34 assists and 13 digs from freshman setter Marrisa Wonders, the two became the first Tigers since 2006 to record seven consecutive double-doubles.
“I don’t mind the pressure,” Lewis said. “I’m actually used to it. It’s second nature for me to be put in that role. I know what the team expects of me, and I know that I have to bring it every game.”
In Thursday night’s match against Hofstra, Towson managed to take a 14-11 lead after a kill from sophomore outside hitter Carola Biver.
Biver later contributed two straight kills to extend the Tiger lead to 23-19. A kill by Steadman closed out the first set with a 25-23 win over the Pride.
In the second set, the two teams fought through 11 ties, but a kill by Hofstra sophomore middle blocker Michela Rucli gave Hofstra a 25-23 set win.
In the third set, the Pride took a 16-7 lead. Another kill by Rucli made the score 21-12 and, despite the Tigers scoring five of the next eight points, the Pride finished the set with a 25-17 win.
A 10-7 lead by the Pride in the fourth set was nearly erased as the Tigers managed to score four of the next six points to bring the score within one point at 12-11. The Pride then used an 8-4 run to take a 20-15 lead. The Tigers ultimately fell to the Pride 25-19 in the fourth set and 3-1 in the match.
A win over Elon on Monday, Oct. 3, did not come easy for Towson. The team faced 12 ties and four lead changes in the fifth set before claiming a 23-21 set win and a 3-2 match victory.
Towson will host Delaware State Tuesday before welcoming CAA rivals James Madison and William & Mary.
“I can’t really predict anything because any and everything happens when it’s conference time,” Lewis said. “But I do expect us to execute. If we can execute, then we can do some really great things.”