WINTER PARK, Fla. (November 2, 2019) - The Rollins Tars brought their "A" game on defense against Nova Southeastern on Saturday afternoon, taking home the five-set win 25-20, 26-28, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11. The game featured 32 ties and 13 lead changes.
In what was possibly the most complete game of the season for Rollins, head coach Mika Robinson received above average play from every player who stepped on the court. Riley Spurlin recorded a season-high 22 kills at a .321 rate, and added seven blocks; Alexis Yeager dominated at the net, with three solo and ten assisted blocks; Charlie Durbin tallied 23 digs; and Marlee Johnson just missed a double-double with nine kills, 13 digs, two service aces, and two block assists.
Rolllins started the game strong, coverting .250 of their attack attempts. Spurlin led the way wth four, and received help from Erin Burke (three), Alexis Yeager (two), and Rachel Reeve (two). As a team, the only committed four attack errors, showing an improvement from their last match on Thursday agianst Lynn. The defense also set the tone early, totaling eight block assists in the first frame. The Tars made a run early in the match with Johnson serving, jumping out to a 15-10 lead that they would not relinquish.
Set two was a thriller, requiring 28 points for the win. Rollins was behind late, 19-15, before battling all the way back to tie the game at 22. The two teams then traded blows for the next five poins before Nova Southeastern finally got two in a row off a pair of attack errors form the Tars to make the final of 28-26. The downfall for Rollins was on the attack, as they committed nine errors in the set. Spurlin once again led the way with seven kills.
The Sharks kept the momentum going in set three behind an efficient attack from Brittany Landrum and McKenna Tucek, who each recorded four kills and only had one error between them. Marlee Johnson was the top scorer for the Tars in the third, with four kills on six chances. Rollins was simply outplayed, and dropped the ste bya score of 25-21.
With their backs against the wall, Rollins came out fired up for set four, going ahead by as many as eight points. Yeager was responsible for four blocks in the set, including two solo efforts. Erin Burke tallied four kills, including the set clinching smash, and was helped out by Candace Doxey who had three kills of her own. The Tars team defense held the Sharks to a match-low .083 attack percentage in the 25-22 win.
In front of a packed house, the tension was high heading into the fifth and final set. With the score 6-4 in favor of the Sharks, the Tars tied it up at six thanks to back-to-back kills from Marlee Johnson and Doxey. The two teams then traded points until Nova Southeastern took a 10-9 lead. A monster kill form Riley Spurin tied the game, and shifted the momentum to the Tars. Rollins claimed the next three points of the match thanks to a combo block from Yeager and Spurlin, followed by two more smashes from Spurlin. Nova snagged one point back to make it 13-11, but once again the freshman Spurlin came through with a pair of kills to seal the win, 15-11 in favor of the Tars. The fifth set was full of impresive saves from both sides; despite only playing to 15 points, the Tars tallied a game-high 21 digs in the set.
Rollins totaled 18 blocks in the game, by far their most in a single match this season. They also added 75 digs and nine service aces.
Rollins now sits at 8-16 on the season. Next up for the Tars are the final three road games of the season. Rollins plays at Embry-Riddle on Tuesday, at Florida Southern on Thursday, and at eckerd on Saturday. Fans who cannot attend in person can follow the live stats at TarsStats.com or watch the action live at sunshinestateconference.tv/rollins.