The Tiffin University volleyball team earned their first GLIAC victory of the season on Friday night, defeating the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals 3-2.
The Dragons fell behind early in set one, but rallied to tie the score 12-12. The Cardinals withstood Tiffin's charge and dropped the Dragons 25-20. Tiffin hit at a .226 clip, collecting 13 kills while committing only six attack errors. The Cardinals were a touch better in the set, hitting at a .276 mark and committed one less error.
The 2nd set was as close as the first, with TU clinging to a 9-7 lead. A Saginaw Valley 6-0 run allowed the Cardinals to retake the lead at 13-9. The Dragons regrouped and forged ahead with a 9-2 run to hold an 18-15 advantage. The Dragons held on to their lead and rolled to a 25-20 win.
Tiffin scored the first three points of the 3rd set, but Saginaw Valley grabbed the lead with a 7-1 run. Tiffin kept pace with the Cardinals, and managed to tie the game at 22-22. Three straight kills for the Red Birds put Tiffin's hope of a 3rd set win on ice.
With their backs against the wall, Tiffin dug in and crept their way to a slim 14-10 lead. The Dragons' lead crumbled as the Cardinals swooped in to tie the score at 19-19. Tiffin recovered from the Saginaw Valley push and took the 4th set.
Having only played in one five set match this season, Tiffin's endurance was tested. With the home crowd behind them, the Cardinals held a one point lead at 10-9. Three straight attack errors by the Cardinals allowed Tiffin to take a 12-10 lead. TU finished off the Cardinals with a 3-1 run to earn their first GLIAC win of the year.
Danielle Hicks had a huge night for Tiffin, pounding out 15 kills with a .379 hitting percentage. Sydney Gilland was a steady contributor, adding 11 kills. Loryn Huffman finished with a career high 30 assists, and Taylor Lattimore compiled 18 digs.
The Dragons improve to 6-6 overall and 1-3 in the GLIAC. The Dragons will be right back at it tomorrow afternoon, doing battle with the Lake Superior State Lakers.