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Tigers sweep Pride in CAA tournament

Jessica Lewis led Towson with 13 kills against Hostra.

Jessica Lewis led Towson with 13 kills against Hostra.

Powered by a 13-kill performance from senior Jessica Lewis and a 24-assists, 14-dig double-double by freshman Marrisa Wonders, the Towson volleyball team swept Hofstra in the opening round of the CAA Tournament to earn a spot in the semifinals.

While Towson only barely edged the Pride with their hitting, .300 to .260, the Tigers out-killed them 50-35 and played much better defense, out-digging them 51-39 on their way to the 25-19, 26-24, 25-23 victory. Towson also overcame Hofstra’s 6-1 block advantage by out-acing them 5-1.

It was the first time Towson won a CAA Tournament match since 2005. The opening set was a blowout. Towson had four-straight kills to get the match started Hofstra cut into the lead a bit, but two kills and an ace got the Tigers up by fie points at 9-4.

Towson used a 5-point run a bit later in the set to power ahead to an 18-8 lead. Hofstra couldn’t make up nearly enough points to come back. The most they could string together at one time was three points, but three Hofstra service errors killed any momentum they were trying to gain.

Neither team was ever able to take control in the third set. Hofstra’s best run was three-straight points, just once. Towson had a four-point run, but neither helped the teams seize any sort of control. Towson’s four-straight points only put them ahead 16-14, but they were able to come up with two points for each of the Pride’s next two points. Towson pushed ahead to a 20-16 lead. The Pride did use an overall 5-1 run to get back within one points at 23-22. Annie Ertz smacked a kill to give Towson an opportunity for set point. Hofstra saved it twice, however, and tied the match at 24, but a kill by Candace Steadman and ace by Jocelyn Kuilan gave the Tigers the set victory.

The third set was another close fight, But in response to Hostra scoring the first two points of the set, Towson scored three. Then in response to the Pride re-taking the early lead with another two points, Towson scored four in a row to take a 7-4 lead.

Of course, though, Hofstra tied the set with three-straight points and continued on to 7-1 run to take an 11-8 lead in the set. But the Tigers got in their rhythm and pushed ahead with a 7-1 run to take a 15-12 lead.

Hostra quickly called a time out and scored right out of it, but Towson responded with three-straight kills to create a five-point cushion. That as key because after a small exchange of point that gave Towson a six-point lead the Pride went on a 6-1 run. It wasn’t enough to completely overcome the deficit. Towson called timeout. That ended the Pride’s momentum. The two teams exchanged the final five points, with Towson getting the three they needed to win the match.

Towson will face top-seeded James Madison in the semifinals on Saturday, No. 19 at 2 pm.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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