By: Katrina Le, Staff Writer
Towson fell 3-1 in a conference rematch against the College of Charleston Sunday but managed to sweep UNC Wilmington 3-0 Friday.
“We appeared to lack energy and to completely understand the implications of the match versus Charleston,” Head Coach Don Metil said. “We did not achieve our performance goals in serve receive, passing or hitting efficiency. We had our chances but a lack of an entire team effort caused us to be two games back now.”
Sunday, the Tigers (19-6, 6-4 CAA) started off strong in the first set by taking a 6-0 lead over the Cougars (15-7, 8-2 CAA).
Sophomore right side hitter Jocelyn Kuilan recorded three of her 19 kills of the match within the first six points.
“Jocelyn played very well and kept us in the match,” Metil said. “She continues to be an offensive threat and continues to improve in regards to her defense. We will need others to step up around her to defeat the teams ahead of us in the conference.”
The two teams fought through eight ties and six lead changes before a block from senior middle blocker Lindsay Flaherty and freshman outside hitter Anabella Pope gave Towson a 27-25 set win.
The Tigers took an early 5-1 lead in the second set but were outdone by Charleston sophomore outside hitter Devon Rachel who delivered three straight kills to help the Cougars take an 8-6 lead. Charleston eventually claimed the set 25-16 following an 8-2 run.
Despite a pattern of Towson starting off with a lead in each set, Charleston opened the third set with a 12-4 advantage. The Cougars then pushed their lead to 19-10 and cruised to a 25-14 set win over the Tigers.
Looking to make a comeback from the previous set, a service ace and kill from Flaherty gave Towson a 6-1 lead in the beginning of the fourth set.
One block after another by Flaherty and Pope extended the Tigers lead to 15-9 until the Cougars used an 8-3 run to pull within one point at 18-17. Towson took a 24-21 lead but a pair of blocks and three kills by Rachel gave Charleston a 26-24 win.
Friday, the Tigers started their weekend on a winning note by sweeping the Seahawks (14-7, 4-5 CAA) 3-0.
In the first set, the two teams were tied at 11 after a kill from senior outside hitter Jessica Lewis. Kuilan and senior middle blocker Candace Steadman contributed two kills each to give the Tigers a 21-18 lead. A ball handling error by the Seahawks gave the Tigers a 25-22 set win.
The Tigers came out with a 5-0 lead over the Seahawks and doubled their lead to 10-5 following a kill from Lewis. Junior outside hitter Payton Windell delivered two kills to seal a 25-17 win for the Tigers.
“I like the fact that we started off strong but we need to keep that effort and attitude while we are ahead,” Metil said. “As my assistants say, ‘It’s not how you start the game, but often how it’s finished that determines your success or failure.'”
Both teams faced 18 ties and nine lead changes in the third set. Following a 16-13 UNC Wilmington lead, Towson scored the next 10 points to take a 20-19 lead.
Seahawks senior outside hitter Nicole Lott gave the Seahawks a 24-23 lead prompting the Tigers to respond with a kill. A kill from Lewis, an attack error by the Seahawks and a block from the Tigers gave the team a 27-25 set win.
The Tigers are now 6-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and 19-6 overall. They will host Delaware Oct. 26th and travel to Elon Oct. 28.