ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Tiffin volleyball opened their new season with a 3-1 win over West Liberty and a 3-1 defeat at the hands of host Eckerd on day one of the Eckerd Classic.
Tiffin started slowly out of the gate in game one against WLU, dropping the first set 25-21, but quickly turned things around and routed the Hilltoppers 25-9 in the second set to even up the score at one set apiece. Sam Fallis served the final five points of the frame, capped by a pair of aces to take the set.
Set three was a back-and-forth affair, as neither team was able to grab a lead of more than four points. With the score tied at 22, Jenna Huffman nailed two straight kills followed by a WLU attack error as Tiffin took set three 25-22 to take a 2-1 advantage.
The Dragons would lead for nearly all of the fourth set, as Kyndall Hellyer recorded kills for four of TU's final five points to give Tiffin a 25-18 set win and 3-1 match victory.
Jenna Huffman had a stunning 27 kills to go with a .407 attack percentage, 15 digs, and four block assists on the match. Hellyer added 13 kills and a team-high 19 digs, while Loryn Huffman recorded 44 assists and 15 digs.
Against Eckerd in game two, the Tritons and Dragons engaged in a seesaw battle in set one, with neither team leading by more than two until Eckerd took a 23-20 advantage. Tiffin cut it to 24-23 on a Hellyer kill, but Eckerd would take the next point and the first set.
The Dragons responded in set two, making a late run of their own as TU scored four of the last five points and took the set 25-20. However, Eckerd scrapped out a set three win and then hit .457 as a team in the fourth frame as they defeated Tiffin by a final of 3-1.
The Dragons will play two more tomorrow to close out the Eckerd Classic, facing Central Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. and familiar foe Malone at 5:30 p.m.