WILMINGTON – Tatnall threw a different defensive look at third-ranked Tower Hill in the teams’ Independent Conference volleyball match Tuesday evening, but the Hillers did just it just enough to adapt to the new scheme, earning a sweep (25-21, 25-16, 25-22) of the visiting Hornets.
Tatnall (6-3, 2-3 Independent) attempted to limit the Hillers’ power game and force them to play a more a finesse style, which they did execute, but it was not enough to get the win.
“We kind of shifted to having more of a bigger block and trying to cover the outside of the court a little bit better,” Hornet head coach Josh Evans said. “We executed a little bit better on the line swings than we anticipated. … The adjustments we made on defense did exactly what we wanted them to. They went away from swinging a hard-angle ball, and they started going for the shots and line plays.”
Tower Hill head coach Michael Sachs hopes to use what Tatnall did against his team as a teachable moment to help them prepare them for the rest of the season.
“We try to look what the other defense is taking from us and giving to us,” Sachs said. “They did a good job at taking away some of our strengths, and we have to be a little bit more adaptable and open to whatever the other team is giving us. We’ll look at that and work on that in practice.”
The Hillers (11-1, 7-1) jumped out to a 21-13 lead in the first game before an 8-1 Hornet run cut their lead to 22-21, but Tower Hill scored the game’s final three points to take a one-game lead in the match.
The second set was close midway through until Tower Hill went on an 11-2 run turned an 12-11 lead into a 23-13 advantage en route to earning a 2-0 lead in the match. The Hillers’ extended run in the second game was a result of strong offensive execution.
“I think we focused and made sure all of the passes were up, all sets were nice and all the hits were in play to get a point, and I think we really just came together as a team and made sure they didn’t get a run,” Tower Hill outside hitter Alexandra Thomson said.
The third and final game was back and forth throughout with 14 ties and five lead changes with the final tie happening a 22-22 before Thomson kills and a hitting error gave Tower Hill a 25-22 victory that completed the sweep.