By: Jake Shindel, Sports Editor, and Daniel Skrobala, Contributing Writer
Towson Volleyball earned their 21st win of the season in a 3-1 win at home against William & Mary. The team, which lost the first set for the second straight week, came back to win the next three and defeat the Tribe.
Last week against Chicago State, the team was dominant after the second set, never looking back. William & Mary stayed in the game even after it seemed as if Towson took control, while also holding a four-point advantage in the fourth set.
“Our confidence is a quality that we need to be careful with, that it’s not an overconfidence,” Head Coach Don Metil said. “That quality of having a cool demeanor is also very valuable to us.”
Outside hitter Victoria Barrett finished with a team-high 14 kills, while defensive specialist Rachel Hess finished with a team-high 16 digs. On the other side, outside hitter Eleanor Stothoff recorded 18 kills for William & Mary, and libero Anna Porter finished with 12 kills. Towson won 56-45 in total points.
The teams started out the first set by trading points before William & Mary came out with a 9-6 lead. A powerful kill and then a block by middle blocker Irbe Lazda brought the game back to within one point, 11-10. An equally thunderous block by Barrett tied the game at 15 moments later, but Metil called a timeout for the Tigers as William & Mary took a 19-17 lead.
The set stayed close as it neared the end, with the game being knotted at 22 points apiece. A 2-0 run by William & Mary led to another timeout by Towson, but William & Mary won the set 25-23 after challenging a call and winning.
Lazda had six kills for Towson in the first set, while Hess finished with four digs. For William & Mary, Kaitlyn Ferguson had a strong showing in the first set with six kills. Outside hitter Sydney Taylor recorded three digs.
In the second set, the Tigers found themselves with a 4-3 deficit, but went on a ferocious 9-2 streak to take a 12-6 lead. The run prompted William & Mary coach Tim Doyle to call a timeout, but Towson still came out strong after the break. The score didn’t get inside six points for the rest of the set, and the Tigers took the second set 25-16.
Through two sets, Lazda steered the ship for Towson with seven kills, followed by six apiece from Barrett and outside hitter Nina Cajic, with contributions of six digs from Hess. Stothoff recorded ten kills for the Tribe, while Ferguson had eight kills. Taylor recorded five digs.
Towson managed to work up a 12-7 lead before William & Mary called a timeout. Towson held their lead throughout the third set, possessing a 16-10 advantage. William & Mary cut the deficit to 17-13, leading to a timeout by the Tigers. Towson took a 2-1 set lead, winning the third set 25-19.
After three sets, Barrett and Lazda had a team-high ten kills each, and Hess was also able to record 11 digs. Stothoff recorded 13 kills for William & Mary while Porter ended up with eight digs.
The Tigers found themselves down 11-7 in the fourth set before calling a timeout. Another timeout came shortly after as Towson once again found themselves down four points, 16-12. Towson put together a 6-2 run out of the timeout, tying the game at 18 and forcing a William & Mary timeout.
“The nice thing about this squad is that they’re very even,” Metil said. “No one really rides the highs and no one really drops into the lows for a long period of time. This program has enough veterans that even if we’re down two or four points, there’s a calmness to this group.”
The run continued out of the timeout, with Towson forcing another timeout as the team took a 21-19 lead. A serve from outside hitter Morgan Wilson eventually led to the set-clinching point for Towson as they won the set 25-19, and the game 3-1.
The CAA foes meet again on Sunday, October 30th, at 1 p.m. at SECU Arena.