Tiger spikers end drought
At first glance, it might have looked like an April Fools’ Day prank, but the results on the scoreboard were no joke.
For the first time in almost two years, the Tunkhannock Area boys volleyball team could finally add a ‘one’ to the win column.
The Tigers edged out Delaware Valley, 3-2, in a fierce five-game set at home Tuesday, April 1, before beating Dallas, 3-2, at home Monday, and Berwick, 3-1, on the road Thursday.
“I think it was very much needed,” Tunkhannock head coach Jeff Howell said. “The kids needed to have something to look forward to and to show them how to win. It’s a learning experience for them and myself that there are things we can build on, and hopefully it helps those boys elevate their game and show intensity for the rest of the season.”
Both teams certainly came out with intensity, but it was Delaware Valley that took the early advantage by winning the first set, 25-23.
The Tigers responded however in convincing fashion, winning the second set, 25-14, and the third set, 25-12.
“(Against North Pocono) we played two very good games but in the third game they got down because they knew they were beat,” Howell said. “We tried to instill in them that it’s not over until the final point is scored and we can come back to win if we play strong. We can’t look at losing a match as it’s over, but that we have to work harder.”
In the fourth set, the Warriors forced a final game with another 25-23 win, but Tunkhannock dealt the final blow with a 15-13 win.
“We have three setters in the lineup at all times that can rotate to offense or defense depending on what the other team is doing, and that can confuse them,” Howell said. “It really helps out our offense.”
Seniors Adam Billings and Zack Daniels had 18 kills and 10 assists, respectively, and senior Luke Cruver chipped in with six blocks for Tunkhannock.
It was the Tigers’ first win since they beat Lake-Lehman in May 2012.
At home against Dallas, Tunkhannock won its first set 25-21, but lost its next two, 25-18 and 25-20.
But playing with new confidence, the Tigers rallied, winning the next set 25-15 and the final set, 15-12.
Cruver had 13 kills and four blocks, Billings added 14 kills and three aces and Daniels chipped in 13 digs and 14 assists.
Against Berwick, the Tigers carried over the momentum from their first win of the season and took the first set of the match, 25-22.
After losing the second set, 25-21, Tunkhannock responded with stifling defense, limiting the Bulldogs to just 13 points in the third set, and put the game away with another 25-22 win.
“We needed to know that we can play with anyone,” Howell said. “I knew the team was going to be improved from last year and we have a chance to win against anyone if we play our game.”
Cruver had 18 kills and 10 blocks, Daniels chipped in with 10 assists and Billings had 11 kills for the Tigers, who are now 3-1 in WVC play.