TROY — It was the first of two meetings of the only two schools to win the MVL volleyball title.
And while both coaches would agree that play was a little sloppy at times, the Tippecanoe volleyball team remained unbeaten with a 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19 win over Troy Thursday night.
Tippecanoe is 7-0 overall and 7-0 in the MVL, while Troy is 5-3 overall and 5-1 in the MVL.
Tippecanoe coach Howard Garcia attributed the win to his seniors.
“You know, we have eight seniors and they have seven,” Garcia said. “They have played together for a long time. We have a few good hitters, a few good passers and servers. We work well together as a team. We also had young players out there and they have brought them into the fold.”
Troy Michelle Owen saw good things from her team, just not sustained enough for a big win.
“We did some good things,” she said. “But, our first contact (on serve receive) was not great all night. That kept us from taking advantage of our middles, where we had most of our success. And they (Tippecanoe) did a better job getting the ball to their middles.”
Olivia Gustavson had some big swings in the first set for the Red Devils and Savy Dean served out the set at 23-18, aided by a kill by Alexa Mader.
Tipp seemed in control the second set, before Troy came to life.
With Tipp leading 20-14, Troy ran off seven straight points to go up 21-20.
After a sideout, Brynn Siler served six straight points.
Kasey Sager had two kills in the run, Hannah Duff had one and Ellie Fogarty had a block.
Tipp’s Alex Voisard had a kill to end the run, then served an ace to give Tipp the lead for good.
Nicole Strong had a kill for sideout to give the Red Devils a 24-22 lead and Mader serve and ace to finish the set.
“It is really tough to come back from two sets down,” Owen said. “Especially, the way the second set ended.”
But, the Trojans carried momentum into the third set.
And Owen called timeout with Tipp leading just 8-7 because of what had transpired on the floor.
“There had just been a free ball and we didn’t handle it,” Owen said. “We hadn’t scored on a free ball yet and I told the girls they need to take advantage of those opportunities.”
It was back and forth set, but at 22-22, Troy’s Maddie Williams served two points — including a service winner and Tipp hit the ball in the net at 24-23 to force a fourth set.
“I thought we played a good first set and for most of the second set,” Garcia said. “Yes, we were able to win it (the second set), but that carried over into the third set.”
In the fourth set, Tipp surged to an 18-10 lead midway through the set .
Two Fogarty aces got Troy within 23-19, before Dean had a tip and Cami Gingerich served an ace to end it.
Gustavson had 11 kills and three blocks in the match, while Nicole Strong had 10 kills.
Mader had nine kills and Voisard had nine, five aces and 13 digs.
Setter Hannah Wildermuth was effective setting the ball over the net all night and had seven kills, three aces and 46 assists.
Savannah Clawson and Gracie Kinsman added 10 digs each.
Maddie Frey had 13 kills and five blocks for Troy, while Kasey Sager had 12 kills and five blocks.
Brynn Siler had eight kills and 13 digs and Hannah Duff had five kills, three aces and 13 digs.
Ellie Fogarty had 33 assists, three aces, 12 digs and four blocks, Brooklyn Jackson had 14 digs and Maddy Williams had three aces and seven digs.
You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]