Gryphons snap home losing streak, edge Rams 3-2

Sep. 06, 2013 @ 06:29 AM
The Thomas Jefferson volleyball team won its first home match in nearly four years and its first ever victory in conference play as they edged by Highland Tech, 3-2, Thursday night. (20-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-27, 15-10.)
This is a big win for us,” said TJCA head coach Jamie Carver. “We came out flat in the first set and then the football team came in and really got behind us and we were amazing. We lost focus in the fourth set, but we came back and did what we needed to do in the fifth. I can’t tell how big this is for the team’s confidence going forward.”
After the two sides split the first six points, a kill by Gabbie Gray and a Meredith Dinga ace gave TJCA (2-4, 1-3 SPC) a two-point edge. 
After the Lady Rams tied the score, Lauren Wiltsek had a pair of aces to make the tally 12-10. An 8-1 run by the visitors seemed to put the game away but the Gryphons fought back thanks in large part to Allie Bishop who slammed down kills to end long volleys.
By the time the dust settled TJCA had pulled to within 19-18. They could only muster two points the rest of the way falling 25-20.
Both teams looked to be evenly matched in the second set, trading the first 16 tallies. But this time it was the Lady Gryphons that went on a long run.
Once again it was Bishop and Wiltsek who spurred the attack, but it was Alyssa Edwards who turned in the most impressive play. Her diving dig attempt sailed over the net and nicked the back line for the point and a 20-12 lead. Callie Gillis then found the floor with an ace as TJCA tied the match with a 25-15 win.
In the pivotal third set, TJCA bolted to a 14-8 lead. 
Dinga was a force at the net with three straight kills, but it may have been the TJCA football team that turned the tide of the match. Their soccer-style chants during volleys flustered the Rams and three attack errors ensued. 
By the time Alyssa Edwards blocked a kill attempt, TJCA was on the verge of victory at 24-16. Gillis finished off the set with block and TJCA led 2-1.
Highland Tech bolted to an 11-3 lead in the fourth set. The crowd once again came into play as Highland Tech committed numerous unforced errors.
Wiltsek dropped two more aces and the set was tied at 16-16. The squads remained tied at 20-20 and 22-22 before Dinga served up an ace to give TJCA the lead.  The teams were tied three more times before the Rams forced a fifth set 27-25.
A pair of blocks by Alyssa Edwards and a Dinga ace lifted TJCA to a 7-4 lead. They expanded that lead to 10-6 thanks to a Ram service error.  Another error   made the tally 14-9 and a four hit violation gave TJCA the 15-10 win.