By Jordan Kendall, Assistant Sports Editor
Photo by Brendan Felch/The Towerlight
The Tigers swept the Towson Invitational vs. the Loyola Greyhounds, NJIT Highlanders, and New Hampshire Wildcats sweeping each match 3-0.
“Today [vs. New Hampshire] against a winning program that’s having a lot of success in the first two sets, we imposed our will,” head coach Don Metil said.
Against the New Hampshire Wildcats (10-4), Towson (10-2) got out to an early 10-2 lead in part to two kills by senior outside hitter Annie Ertz. With a 15-5 advantage in kills in the first set, it helped the Tigers win the first set 25-8.
Freshman middle blocker Lydia Wiers and senior outside hitter Emily Jerome each had four kills in the period.
In the second set, the Wildcats kept it close, battling back-and-forth with the Tigers. Towson scored four consecutive points twice during the set, which led to the Tigers winning the second set 25-17. The Tigers had a slight 15-12 kills lead in the second set.
In the third set, the Tigers took six of eight points after trailing 7-5 to take back the lead 11-9. The game continued to be competitive as the Wildcats took seven of the next 13 points to cut into a 19-14 Towson lead. New Hampshire scored four of the next seven points and the set was within three points at 22-19.
“In set three, we were sloppy with some unforced errors but we’re in a good mind space going into conference play,” Metil said.
The Wildcats scored the next three points and tied the set at 22-22. New Hampshire took a 23-22 lead the following serve. The set continued to go back-and-forth until an attack error won the third set for the Tigers, 33-31.
Jerome finished with a team-best 15 kills, Wiers had 11 and senior middle blocker Silvia Grassani had 10. Senior setter Marissa Wonders had 38 assists.
“We need that experience going into conference and learning how to keep our composure in those tight matches and still find a way to win,” Metil said.
Against NJIT (1-14), the Tigers won the first set 25-19 in part to the 13-6 kill advantage. Once gaining a 5-2 lead the Tigers would never trail in the set and scored as much as seven straight points.
In the second set, Towson would go on scoring runs of 7-0 and 8-0, en route to a 25-11 win.
The Highlanders took an early 5-1 lead in the third set before Towson scored nine of the next 12. Towson had two runs with five and six unanswered points leading to a 25-16 win in set three to sweep the game 3-0. Jarome had 12 kills leading the Tigers. Wonders finished with 27 assists.
Metil was impressed with a lot of what his team did.
“Our ability to stay in system, and our dig transition,” he said.
Against Loyola (7-7), the first set was very competitive, neither team having a scoring run longer than two consecutive points until Towson scored the final three points to take the set, 25-18.
“We played well on [vs. Loyola], in an environment a year earlier we did not,“ Metil said.
In set two, Towson scored five of the last eight to win 25-20.
The Greyhounds scored seven of ten points after trailing 4-2. Once Loyola took a 10-9 lead, the set went back-and-forth, which the Tigers won 25-21, scoring the final two points.
Finckel, Jarome, and Ertz each had seven kills. Wonders led the Tigers with 27 assists.
“I was impressed with our ability to stay in our defensive base and generate a lot of blocks,” Metil said. “We averaged about three and a half blocks a set and that’s where we need to be against our conference opponents.”
The Tigers travel to Newark, Delaware on Friday, Sept.27. To face the Delaware Blue Hens at 6:30 p.m. from the Bob Carpenter Center.