By Carrie Thomas
(Bethlehem, PA) The FIT Tigers met a tough Northampton CC team on the road in Bethlehem, PA. “It was almost like looking in a mirror. Both teams on the floor ran the same type of offense—quick and effective. The biggest difference was that their defense beat us. We were a little bit late in making our plays. It’s all about reaction and we hesitated a little too much at times,” stated Coach Carrie Thomas.
The Tigers lost in a tough five set match with set scores 28-26, 18-25, 15-25, 25-21, 10-15. “We dug ourselves into a hole a couple of times in the middle sets and just couldn’t climb out. We struggled a bit on our offense and had a hard time regrouping. We are young and the freshmen are still learning that this is a whole other level than high school and club. Every day we get a little bit better. We are adjusting to each other nicely and gaining more confidence each match,” Thomas said.
Megan Houff led the Tigers offensively in the match with 22 kills and 6 blocks. Anna Buckley paced the offense with 33 set assists and 5 kills. Vivian Htam recorded 4 kills and 2 blocks. Michelle Vainblat had 4 kills and 19 digs. Alison Tyler controlled the defense with 19 digs. Miranda Mitchell had 2 kills and 11 digs.
“Although we lost, I think it was a great match. It was really nice to play a team at the same level as us and I think it really showed. We appreciated having equal competition which in the end cushioned the loss a little,” claimed captain Megan Houff. “I’m so glad we added the matches that we did this season. Our competition level is so much higher and exactly what we need to maintain our strength at the end of the season. “
In the second match of the day, the Tigers cruised past the Middlesex Colts in three straight sets with scores of 25-10, 25-6, 25-12. “In matches like this, our goal is to keep our opponent to a half game of points and that’s just what we did with the Colts. We were able to play our game and not play down to their level. In matches like this we need to eliminate our own errors so we aren’t giving free points. These are the type of matches that we need to use to improve our play and boost the confidence of the freshmen especially,” said Coach Carrie Thomas.
Megan Houff and Anna Buckley once again led the offense with 16 kills and 32 set assists respectively. Miranda Mitchell notched 8 kills and 6 ace serves. Vivian Htam kicked in 6 kills and Allison Tyler dug up 11 balls.
“Vivian has really adjusted to a new position in the middle. She has to have more reaction than she does on the outside and she is executing. Seeing the versatility in her play has really helped our team,” said Thomas. “Miranda bounced back in the second match. She was a little frustrated in the first match but turned it around in the second match. It’s all about confidence at the freshman level and all that comes with experience. As the season goes on we will only get better..”