“We got a lot of new players,” Burt said. “It takes a while to get new players to gel and to be able to trust each other. The big thing I tell them is when you are on defense and you are on the front row trust that the person behind you is going to be in their spot. It takes a little time to build that bond. I don’t want to say that we are peaking, because we are not at our best yet. We are starting to play really good with conference coming up on Thursday and Saturday. We are starting to get our tempo down and get our confidence level up. This a good time to start that.”
The Lady Tornadoes fed off the energy of their home crowd throughout the match.
“When I first took over the program we had a good crowd, but there was no back bone to it,” Burt said. “This year, it has done a total 180. With the band begin here that gets people going. We have a lot of new students; we are over 1,200 students. We probably had 400-500 people in the stands today and it was rocking. As a coach of a home team I want that. I have to give a lot credit to my fans here; because this was the first time in a volleyball match I have seen people do the wave. It was awesome.”
TC’s front line got the match started off with bang. Sarina Thompson open the first set with a kill. Zia Mose towered over the net for a kill to give the Lady Tornadoes a 3-2 lead. Middle blocker Raven Black recorded a kill to give TC a 4-2 advantage. Judson’s front line was up for the challenge as well. Alison Daniel’s tip cut the Lady Tornadoes lead down to 9-8. TC went on a 4-1 run to take a 13-9 lead. Three of the four points came off the serve of Avrielle Walker’s serve. TC increased their lead to 20-13 on a Tanaira Rounds kill. Judson rallied late in the set to cut the TC lead to five points, but that was closest they would get. A service error on Judson gave TC the first set 25-19.
TC dominated the second set. The Lady Tornadoes jumped out to an 11-2 lead. Rounds kill gave TC a 15-5 lead. Thompson sealed the victory with a kill.
Judson matched TC point for point in the third set until Black went back to serve. The junior scored 11 points off of her serve to give TC a 24-12 lead. Thompson ended the match with powerful kill to give TC the victory.
“ The first set wasn’t pretty,” Burt said. “We started out kind of slow, but midway through the first set we began to get our stride and we finished off strong. We kept the momentum into set two. We got them down and we didn’t let up. That was the key to that. Once we got them down we kept our foot on the gas pedal and kept going. During the break I told them that we are making way too many mental errors, we are giving up too many free points. I told them we need to clean it up in set three. We really didn’t clean it up until a third of the way into the set. Once they got going it was no looking back. I got to hand it to them they picked up a lot of balls that were not picking up in the first set. When Raven got back to serve it was nine points. That was a great way to end the set.”
The Tornadoes front line recorded 32 kills and recorded 12 blocks against Judson.
“We had two solo block and 20-block assist,” Burt said. “That is 12 blocks night for our front line, which is good. Dig wise we are not where we normally are, because our front line was playing as good as they were, which helps out our back row a lot. I really don’t want to rely on our back row, because that is the last line of defense. If your front line can get their hands on a lot of those shots it helps our back row out a lot. In the beginning of the match they were getting touches on the ball, but they were letting them drop. We made a couple of adjustments; we moved a couple of people around and that helped up play our style of volleyball.”