DETROIT, Mich. - The Tiffin University women's volleyball team notched a pair of victories on Saturday over Kentucky State and host Wayne State to finish the 2018 Warrior Invitational with a 3-1 record. Tiffin improves to 5-3 on the season.
The Dragons had no trouble with the Thorobreds of Kentucky State for the second time in as many days, earning another sweep by scores of 25-20, 25-16, and 25-20. The nightcap with the Warriors proved to be a much more intense battle as Tiffin managed to take the first two games 25-22 and 25-18, but Wayne State responded with taking the following two by scores of 25-20 and 25-23. The fifth and final game came down to the wire, with the two teams tied at 14, but a kill by Jenna Huffman and an attack error by the Warriors gave the Dragons a thrilling, five-set victory.
After a slow start in the first game of the match with the Thorobreds, Tiffin found themselves down 7-6, but they came back with a 12-3 run to take an 18-10 lead that would never be relinquished. Game two wasn't ever really that close, as Tiffin led by as much as 21-9 at one point before taking the set 25-16.
Kentucky State did not go away without a fight in the third game, though, as they went on a late 5-0 run to come within two points, 22-20. However, two Thorobred errors and an Emily Weithman service ace shut down that momentum and gave Tiffin the match. Amanda Curry led the Dragons with 11 kills in the first match, while Weithman and Loryn Huffman dished out 15 and 16 assists, respectively. Weithman also contributed five service aces in the win.
Tiffin came out very strong against the home Warriors in the late game, going on a 9-0 run at one point to build a 10-3 lead after a Curry kill. The teams traded points for a while in the middle of the game until Tiffin led 20-14, before Wayne State went on a 6-0 run to tie the game up at 20 apiece. A Warrior service error stopped the bleeding for the Dragons, and a pair of Warrior attack errors and kills from Kyley Keene and Jenna Huffman proved to be enough to stem the Wayne State comeback attempt as Tiffin took the first game 25-22.
Game two began very close, with neither team holding a lead of more than two points until Tiffin managed to pull away late, going on an 8-1 run after the score was knotted at 17 to take the set 25-18 and go up two games to none in the match. Tiffin appeared ready to end the match in the next game, starting it off with a 7-2 run, but Wayne State battled back to tie it at 14. The Warriors then outscored the Dragons 11-6 in the rest of the set, taking game three by a score of 25-20. Tiffin built an early lead yet again in game four, 9-3 this time, but Wayne State scored 14 of the next 15 points to go up 17-10. It was a game of runs, as after the Warriors went up 22-15, the Dragons rattled off eight straight points to take a 23-22 lead. However, Wayne State managed to tally the final three and take a wild game four 25-23.
Game five was a tightly contested affair, as the Warriors and Dragons were tied at eight, nine, 11, 12, 13, and 14 before Jenna Huffman's kill and the Warrior error concluded the match. Curry and Jenna Huffman notched 20 and 17 kills, respectively, for the Dragons, and Weithman tallied 33 assists. Loryn Huffman (23 assists, 18 digs) and Kyley Keene (11 kills, 21 digs) also had big games in the winning effort.
Tiffin will look to ride the momentum from this weekend's tournament into conference play on Tuesday, as the Dragons host Alderson Broaddus in their inaugural Great Midwest Athletic Conference match. Game time in the Gillmor Center is set for 7:00 p.m.