Top-seeded Dickinson Trinity may have had a 2-0 lead Tuesday.
But, on the way to a 3-0 sweep over New England Monday in the second round of the Region 7 volleyball tournament, the Titans found themselves scrambling to survive against the visiting Tigers.
Both teams were tied at 24-24 before the Titans were able to get the final two points to claim the too-close-for-comfort sweep over the Tigers.
But New England found themselves in the final set of the season against the undefeated Titans, according to coach Kay Moody.
“That is what we have been working on. How we played them in the third set was how we wanted to play them in the first set.
“We just ran out of time. We were clicking and getting some chemistry but it just didn’t work well for us as far as time,” Moody explained.
“Elizabeth Kaufman was our gal. She was our rock,” added Moody. “We had some great teamwork and team chemistry. By the third set, we were figuring it out what Trinity was doing. It would have been nice if we could have taken it to another set. It would have been interesting.”
A crucial call came late in the third set when the score was tied at 24-24. “Hadley (Binstock) was called in the net. She first had called Trinity, like the error was on Trinity’s side and then the ball would have been to our side. It was pretty huge,” the coach said.
Moody said she wasn’t surprised that the Tigers could battle the Titans head-to-head.
“Our blocking technique tries to slow Trinity down or block them. Our timing got better. We started swinging at some balls and played a little more aggressive,” she said.
“We just want our players to be a little cagey and to be able to have different shots that they can take advantage. I was very proud of them,” the coach said.
“Hadley had a nice serving run that really brought us back into the third set – back where we were even. It was a battle from then on. It was huge for use when she brought us back to tie at 18. She got that momentum back for our team,” the coach added.
Even the Trinity coach Breanna Sisson praised the Tigers. The Titans struggled because of the Tigers’ “aggression and fire,” she said after logging the win. She added that New England put the Titans “back on their heels.”
Kaufman finished with eight kills and two aces for the Tigers, while Hadley Binstock had two aces.
Jersey Binstock had three kills, one ace, and 21 digs.
The loss dropped New England to 13-24 for the season.
Tigers top Hazen
The Tigers qualified for Monday’s battle with the top-seed with its 3-1 victory over Hazen in front of a home crowd Friday.