NEWARK, Del. – A big blocking night led the Towson University volleyball team to a 3-1 win at the University of Delaware on Sunday evening in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play. The Tigers finished with 14 team blocks in the match as six players recorded at least two block assists in the match.
“We played well from the start tonight and placed a lot of pressure on Delaware with our serving and team defense, including great blocking,” said Towson coach Don Metil. “Our outsides really came up big and it was exciting to see a few individuals on this young squad with “double-double” performances.”
The first set saw the Tigers jump out to an early lead as the visitors scored eight of the first nine points and forced Delaware to burn a timeout. Towson quickly pushed its advantage to 15-4 on a block from sophomore Candace Steadman and junior Victoria Williams. A kill from sophomore Haley Pa’akaula extended the visitors’ lead to 19-9. Delaware battled back to make it 24-18 before a kill from Williams posted a 25-18 set win for the Tigers.
Back-to-back kills from junior Saitaua Iosia allowed the Tigers to open up a 9-3 lead to start the second set. A 4-0 run allowed Towson to push its lead to 18-11. Williams had a pair of block assists for the Tigers during that stretch. Delaware pulled to within three, 19-16 on a kill from Chandler Bryant. Towson closed out the set on a 6-3 run to secure the 25-19 second set win and a 2-0 lead in the match. Freshman Lindsay Flaherty and Iosia each had a pair of kills during that stretch for the Tigers.
The third set of the match was the tightest as the two teams battled through 15 ties and nine lead changes. Towson led 18-17 in the set before a 6-0 run by Delaware gave the home team a 23-18 lead. Towson pulled to within three, 24-21 on a kill from freshman Sonja Vasovic. A kill from Katie Hank closed a 25-21 set victory for Delaware and forced the match to a fourth set.
Towson took a 12-8 lead to start the fourth set on a kill from Iosia. Delaware scored six straight points to take a 14-12 edge. The Tigers responded by scoring eight of the next nine to go ahead 20-15 in the set. Williams and Pa’akaula each had a pair of kills during that stretch for the visitors. The Blue Hens used a 6-3 run to pull to within two, 23-21 and Towson called timeout. Following the timeout, the Tigers used a pair of kills from senior Dayane Van Ass and Iosia to secure the 25-22 set win and victory in the match.
Iosia and fellow junior Aimee Schubert posted “double-doubles” to lead the Tiger efforts. Iosia had 15 kills and 16 digs for her 11th “double-double” of the year. She added a pair of block solos and a block assist to contribute to the team’s efforts at the net. Schubert’s “double-double” was her second as a Tiger as she dished out 25 assists with 10 digs. Pa’akaula returned to the line-up after missing three matches due to injury and finished with 15 kills and two block assists. Flaherty posted three kills and a team-high six block assists.
Junior Paige Sekerak finished with a team-high 20 digs and six assists on the night. Sekerak came into the night, needing six digs to move into a tie for fourth place on the career digs list at Towson. She accomplished that feat in the second set, passing Lisa Weir (1,321 career digs). Sekerak now needs just 56 more digs to move into the top three for career digs at Towson.
Autumn Jenkins came off the bench to lead Delaware with 13 kills while Ariel Shonk had 25 digs.
Towson returns home for the final two matches of the 2013 season this weekend. The Tigers open the final weekend by hosting the College of Charleston on Friday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m.