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Titans fall to Roadrunners, Finish 3rd in South

Pregame introductions minutes before Lane vs. Linn-Benton
Pregame introductions minutes before Lane vs. Linn-Benton

The Titans battled the first place Roadrunners on the road, but they were unable to break through in a 3-0 loss. After the loss and Chemeketa's 0-2 comeback at Clackamas, giving Chemeketa 2nd place and Lane 3rd place.

How it happened: The Titans were struggling early on in the first set, down 13-20. But the Titans would reduce their deficit to three, 17-20, before the Roadrunners went on a 5-2 run to win set one, 25-19. The Titans really struggled hitting against the Roadrunners, managing only a .121 percentage and a match high seven errors. On the other side the Roadrunners avoided errors, five, even though they only hit .233.

The second set was the set to win for the Titans. They led 11-7 before a Roadrunner run gave them the lead, but then had two set points at 24-23 and 25-24. After the second failed set point conversion, the Roadrunners won three straight points and took the set 27-25. The Titans hitting only slightly improved, but their errors also decreased, allowing for more chances for points to continue. They had their best set hitting .149 and only five errors. The Roadrunners almost got burned by having their worst offensive set, hitting .200 and a match high seven errors, but they took the opportunities given and had a 2-0 lead.

The third set started strong for both sides, with the Titans holding leads in the first 19 points played and were only down 14-16, but the Roadrunners Madelynn Norris had a serve won streak of six and the Roadrunners finished the set winning nine of the final 10 points in a 25-15 third and final set victory.

What/who stood out: After having matches with 10 and 15 timeouts called, there were no timeouts called by either team. The NWAC's leader in total digs, Stacia Panther, had only 16 as the well coached Roadrunners made a concerted effort to try and find other Titans to attack and try to get easy points from. One of those players was Kaitlin Hampton. Hampton tied for a game high with 17 digs. The 17 digs are the second most she's had this season. Overall the Titans had five more total errors than the Roadrunners and hit 123 points lower. And for a team ranked in the top-5 in blocks, the Titans recorded their lowest total in league, two, since their 3-0 loss at Clackamas when they had three. Saige Brashears and Kennedy James both led the way with eight points, Taylor Russell led with 20 assists, but their top-10 hitting percentage player coming into the match, Hannah Hayes, only got 12 attempts, her fewest of the league season. 

What it means: If the Titans had won, they would have secured 2nd place, but with the loss, they needed a Chemeketa loss by sweep because the Storm would hold the tiebreaker in sets won in league if they managed at least one set at Clackamas. With the third place finish, the Titans face the 2nd seed from the East Region. 

What's next: The Titans play Walla Walla, the 3rd place team from the Eastern Region, Thursday, November 15 at 2 p.m. on court 2. The tournament is double elimination. The winner of the game plays the winner of Edmonds (North #10 and Tacoma (West #4).