On Friday night in Costa Mesa, California the reigning National Champion UTB and TSC Women's Volleyball team bounced back nicely from Thursday night's game beating the #21 Vanguard University Lions 3-1 (23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 24-26).
"I thought we did a good job of coming out tonight with good energy." said UTB and TSC head coach Todd Lowery.
The first set was close from the get-go with numerous lead changes and a total of ten ties. The last tie at 21-21 was broken on a hard kill by Michelle Marques with the Lions head coach immediatly calling a timeout. The timeout served little purpose as Vanguard made a quick error brought on by UTB and TSC pressure and Paula Barros nailed a service ace. All that was left was another kill by Marques to end the set at 25-23.
In the second set UTB and TSC took a quick 7-2 lead on Barros consecutive service aces and took a lead it never relinquised on it's way to a 25-20 set win.
Halfway through the third set the host Lady Lions after trailing 15-12 went on a 9-2 run to take the lead 21-17 on a kill by Jessica Neves. Two plays later UTB and TSC Marques answered with a kill to close the gap to 21-20 but was not enough and the Lions would go on to win the only set of the match 25-21.
UTB and TSC serve receive was their biggest obstacle in not closing out the Lions in three sets.
"Vanguard is a very good team. We had a bit of a breakdown on serve receive in set three and were not able to close it out." said Lowery."This is something we need to work on as we head into Nationals. We have had a set in each match like that this week."
In the fourth set UTB and TSC did what they have done through much of the season when the pressure is on, play harder. The Lions big set three victory gave them some momentum and hope that they could play with the NAIA number one team in country and they pushed UTB and TSC to its limits, however it was not enough as UTB and TSC came out on top 26-24 in a tight hard fought set. In the set Danica Markovic and Vanja Joksic lead the way with 5 and 3 kills respectively.
UTB and TSC end their Top 25 road trip Saturday versus #4 Biola at 3:00 p.m.