Getting your first win as a collegiate head coach is special. Getting your first win in your first attempt is even more special.
That is what first year head coach Sarah Rhodes received from her Central Christian College Tigers on Tuesday night when they swept the Manhattan Christian College Thunder at home 25-22, 25-14, 25-13.
The Tigers struggled early on, trailing for the majority of the first set. They were down by as many as six in the opening set, before going on a big run to close the gap and tie the game at 19.
CCC never led until 22-21, and then completed the comeback 25-22.
In set two, the Tigers continued to build momentum and opened up an early 6-2 lead.
They served well in the opening set, and continued that trend in set two.
The Tigers turned the tables on the Thunder and led the set 18-12. Unlike the first set, the Tigers didn't allow the Thunder back into the set, closing it out 25-14.
Set three was more of the same. The Tigers kept rolling, and despite some changes to their lineup, the Thunder were unable to reverse the trend.
The Tigers got up big early, and never looked back. They closed out the set 25-13, and completed the sweep.
For the Tigers, the win marks their first of the season, and their third in a row over the Thunder after an 11 year losing streak.
The Tigers were solid in all facets of the game. They served the ball extremely well, recording five aces and just five service errors.
They also had a good offensive night, hitting .212 with 36 kills on 118 attempts and just 11 errors.
The Tigers are running a new offensive system this year, with two setters meaning senior Hannah Crandall, who spent her first three years setting, is also doing some hitting in certain rotations.
She made the transition look pretty natural, recording seven kills on 19 swings and zero errors. She also had 20 assists and two service aces.
She is now just 95 assists away from 3000 for her career.
The Tigers were led offensively by junior right side hitter Sarah Post, and freshman Kacie Platt.
Post, who was making her first career start, notched eight kills on 18 attempts, and just two errors.
Platt was also making her collegiate debut, and made her presence felt with eight kills on 22 swings and three errors.
She came up big in both the first and third sets by recording the final kill.
Defensively, the Tigers had seven blocks and recorded 61 defensive digs.Makalyn Tuttle was big on the block all night, assisting on five of the seven Tiger blocks.
In the dig category, the Tigers had three players in double figures led by Crandall with 15, freshman libero Desiree Padilla with 12 and Rhylee Richardson with 11.
"I am very proud of my girls," Rhodes said. "They fought hard and never gave up, and I look forward to seeing all that they will accomplish this season."
The Tigers are home again Friday, hosting Barclay College and Central Christian College of the Bible in a triangular at 4 p.m. and 8 pm.
The Tigers will be home again on Friday, hosting Barclay College and Central Christian College of the Bible in a triangular at 4 p.m and 8 pm.
Then they will head to Salina, Kansas for a tournament on Saturday hosted by Kansas Wesleyan University.