May 07, 2022 11:00 AM PST

Matadors Struggle To Connect in 3-0 Loss To Tornadoes

Led by starting Opposite Felix Chapman (16 PTS | 11 Kills, 2 Aces, and 3 Blocks­­), the Dallas Tornadoes defeated the Inland Empire Matadors 3-0 | 25-22, 25-19, 25-15. Middle Blocker Angel Rivera added 11 PTS (6 kills at 67%, 4 Blocks, and 1 Ace) for the Tornadoes in the victory, helping to hold back the Matadors' Outside Hitter, Eric Beaty, who tallied a team-high 8 PTS | 8 kills for the Matadors in the losing effort.

As a team, the Dallas Tornadoes put on an impressive blocking clinic, putting up ten blocks, with middles Rivera and Chike Opurum, and Felix Chapman shutting down the Matador's pin hitters. Opposite Hitter Ben Simon finally got some playing time since his debut at the beginning of the 2021 season, pulling off an impressive 100% kill efficiency hitting five for five as a blocking substitution. The Tornadoes also saw the introduction of outside Steven Roschitz beach partner, Peter Cannole, as he and Roschitz held down the team passing, with Cannole passing at 64% perfect reception ratio on 14 attempts and Roschitz passing at 85% on 13 attempts.

The Matadors saw their newcomer Beaty, a Stanford Alum, come back from early retirement to lead his team, taking the brunt of the team's serve receptions with 21 passes at 81% perfect pass percentage. Outside, Nick Ramos maintained a strong hitting efficiency at 54% on 13 attempts, but half their players hit 25% and below as a team.

The Matadors struggled to keep the Tornadoes' big hitters at bay as their servers did little to push the envelope and pressure Dallas's reception. Their passive serving also led to the Matadors only scoring a breakpoint on average every 7.38 points. Additionally, the Tornadoes block put on a show against the Matadors, holding their hitting efficiency to 29% on their first attack after a positive reception. A substantial contributing factor to the Matadors' demise was the constant lineup changes despite a close first set which never allowed the team with new faces to adapt to each other's playing styles against a well-formed Dallas team.

Up next, the IE Matadors will be facing off against the Chicago Untouchables, who thus far have not been able to pull off a win despite long five-set matches this season. The Tornadoes will face off against New Jersey Team Freedom next, where they will hope to put a stop to their undefeated season early.

- NVA Staff Writer