May 06, 2022 14:00 PM PST

Tyrants Hold Their Ground in 3-1 Win Over Stunners

Led by starting Outside Hitter Jake Langlois (22 PTS | 19 Kills, 1 Ace, and 3 Blocks), the Texas Tyrants defeated the OC Stunners 3-1 | 16-25, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25. Outside Gianluca Grasso added 20 PTS (19 kills and 1 Ace) for the Tyrants in their victory, helping to hold the Stunner's Outside, Corey Chavers, who tallied a team-high 19 PTS | 18 kills and 1 Block for the Stunners in the losing effort.

The Tyrants got off to a rough start with both Grass and Langlois hitting at 22% percent as the team's two outlet players. But as they moved on into the later sets, they both turned up the heat with vicious cross-court shots past the triple blocks that left the defenders getting knocked to the floor. The Tyrant also saw massive value in Opposite Daniel Jacobs after starter Tim Johnson struggled early in Set 1. Although Jacobs only had 9 points in the match, he consistently kept the Stunners out of the system on all of his swings, giving his team the chance to swing again. Additionally, Setter Gabriel Quinones did a fantastic job setting his players in out-of-system situations, scoring 40% of the time off of a bad pass.

The Stunners came out guns blazing in the first set, with the team hitting at a 54% hitting efficiency with Joey Jarvis hitting an impressive 83% on six swings. Middles Nick West and Shayne Beamer got four blocks apiece, with west scoring seven kills at 58% and Beamer with five kills at 56%. Beamer was even able to keep the Tyrants Middle Ryan Maune to a 23% hitting efficiency with soft with consistent soft touches on the block. Setter Randy Ramirez managed to be the team's defensive specialist with 12 digs during the game, now ranking as the 4th highest defensive player in the league for digs per set at 3.

The game's deciding factors came down to the Tyrant's ability to score out of rotation, with Langlois pulling all of his tools from his bag, managing to score on nearly every set. The Stunners struggled to pull through and keep consistency in their setter/hitter connection, with their efficiency dropping every set from 54%, 42%, 39%, and finally 24%. However, in the end, the Stunners held the highest point differential in the first set at 25-16 and only lost by 2-3 points in the later sets. If the Stunners can improve their team chemistry throughout the season, they may once again gain the upper hand over the Tyrants in the Championship tournament.

The Tyrants are set to face up against the Vegas Ramblers, who are undefeated in the season thus far, bolstering a heavy lineup that includes the league's current kill leader Jordan Hoppe and last year's MVP Brandon Rattray. The Stunners will hope to salvage their weekend with a win but must first muster the troops to stand a chance against the Utah Stingers. Fortunately for the Stunners, the Utah Stingers will be missing their two starting pin hitters, Inovel Romero and Jorge Mencia, which should give them the chance to take the upper hand.

- NVA Staff Writer