Springfield, OH– Despite a slow start to set one, the Wittenberg Tigers weren't going down without a fight, pulling away with a 3-1 win over the Randolph-Macon Yellowjackets in the 1929 Fieldhouse on Thursday evening. With this win, the Tigers moved to 17-10 overall (8-3 conference), recording their fifth straight win.
The Jackets jumped out to a quick three-point start in the first set against the Tigers, but the Tigers didn't let that stop them from climbing back into the game. A kill by Gabriel Lamar on the pass from Ross Russell put the Tigers on the board, 1-3. Kills by Deion Woodson and Blake Sobieralski assisted by Noah Wissel gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 8-7. Throughout the rest of the set, the Tigers fought to stay within the Jackets' lead. After a Jacket service error and a Woodson service ace, the Tigers regained the lead, 19-18. Playing a one-point back-and-forth game for the rest of the set, the Tigers added a kill by Lamar to put the Tigers ahead, 20-19; a kill by Sellers to put the game at 21-20; a kill by Jackson Tyler brought the game back to even at 23-23; and a kill by Woodson to tie up the game at 25. After fighting to tie the game at 25, two Jacket attack errors gave the Tigers the 27-25 set one win.
The Tigers continued their momentum into the second set, with Lamar putting the Tigers on the board with a kill. Russell added two service aces to give the Tigers the 3-0 lead. Although the Jackets tried to climb back into the game, the Tigers couldn't stop their dominance, jumping out to an 11-3 lead. The Tigers quickly doubled the score against the Jackets, 14-7, with blocks from Sobieralski, Brock, and Tyler, as well as a kill from Woodson. After a series of Tiger errors, the Jackets clawed their way back within three of the Tigers, 14-11. After a timeout to take a breather, the Tigers recorded kills from Sellers and Woodson and an attack error against the Jackets to put the score at 17-11. Woodson recorded a kill on the assist from Wissel, and Brock scored on set point with a service ace to give the Tigers the set two win at 25-21.
The Tigers looked to bounce back in the fourth set after losing the third set, 25-19. After starting the game tied 2-2, the Tigers seemed to forget the last set, jumping out to a 7-2 lead, courtesy of a service error by the Jackets, two service aces from Brock, and kills from Tyler and Sellers. A kill by Justin Luby from Wissel and an attack error by the Jackets put the score at 10-4. The Tigers recorded two blocks from both Lamar and Woodson, putting the Tigers ahead by eight, 12-4. The Jackets wouldn't go down without a fight, moving within four of the Tigers, 18-14. Sellers moved the Tigers up to 20-15 with a kill from Russell. The Jackets compiled an attack error and a ball handling error, allowing the Tigers to move up to 22-15. After the Jackets added three more points, Ryan Roark recorded a kill from Aiden Hauter to put the Tigers within two of the set. The Tigers moved within one of the match after a service error from the Jackets, with Martis Roze recording match point to give the Tigers the 3-1 win.
After the first set, the Tigers recorded 30 attacks and 17 kills with a .367 hit percentage. Woodson led the set for the Tigers with five kills, closely followed by Sellers' four. Russell paved the way for assists with 12 while Wissel added five.
At the end of the second set, Woodson racked up 10 kills with Sellers moving to seven. The Tigers had 63 attacks and 28 kills, adding five blocks and 20 digs. Russell moved up to 18 assists with Wissel moving up to 9.
The Tigers moved up to 99 attacks and 44 kills after the third set, with a total of 32 digs. In the third set, Luby added four kills with Buelow hitting four as well. Russell continued his dominance with assists hitting 29.
At the end of the match, the Tigers racked up a total of 134 attacks, 56 kills, and 9 service aces, leaving for the night with a .187 hitting percentage. Woodson and Sellers racked up 14 and 12 kills respectively, with Tyler adding six. Russell led in assists for the evening with a grand total of 35.
The Tigers will play a three-game homestand this weekend taking on Medaille and D'Youville on Saturday, and Penn St.-Altoona on Sunday. Saturday's 4 p.m. start against D'Youville will be the Tigers' Senior Day.