Jul 06, 2022 12:00 PM PST

Tornadoes Struggle to Fire On Cylinders with 0-2 Weekend.


Doing their best to keep their playoff dreams alive, the Dallas Tornadoes fell short as they went 0-2 on the weekend struggling to get their players involved in the match in order to support their All-Star player Felix Chapman.


Tornadoes vs Ramblers

As they kicked off Event 4, the Las Vegas ramblers held off the Dallas Tornadoes after losing a close first set into extra points. Responding and putting the Dallas Tornadoes back on their heels, pulling away with a 10-point lead in the second set, which halted the Tornadoes from recreating their first set success the rest of the match

Tornadoes put on a solid passing performance in the first set, with Outside Chase McKenzie maintaining an 80% positive passing rating. Of course, Felix Chapman got most of the offensive opportunities and led the team with points with 23 kills on 48 attempts. Peter Cannole also helped stabilize the team as he got the second-highest number of sets with 23, maintaining a 35% hitting average throughout the match.

The Ramblers scored at a 60% hitting efficiency on the offensive side, with Michael Keegan dishing out the sets, even getting two kills himself with no errors. Middle Mathew Knigge made it to double-digit points with ten kills hitting at a scorching 71%, while Antwain Aguillard made a strong return after a hiatus hitting 56% on the match. Brandon Rattray led his team at the net with 21 kills on 34 attempts. Then last but not least, NVA commentator/Ramblers Manager, Outside Nick England, saw the court for the first time since Event 1. Playing as hard as any of the All-Stars, England scored 14 kills at 56% and even got a massive stuff block against Chapman despite their height difference.

On top of the Rambler's ability to dominate on the offensive side, hitting at 60% compared to the Tornadoes' 43%, they were able to side out at a 65% ratio while scoring 78% of the time on a positive reception compared to the Tornadoes 49%. If Chapman had been able to limit his errors and the Tornadoes would have capitalized more on positive passes to improve their side-out game, the match could have quickly gone the opposite direction.


Tornadoes vs Stunners

Entering the match, the Stunners came off their third straight win and the Dallas Tornadoes with two heavy losses. Each team had very different mentalities coming into the game as the Stunners hoped to maintain their momentum while the Tornadoes hoped to turn the tides of their season.

The Tornadoes' man of the year, Outside Felix Chapman, put in work as always, scoring 27 kills off of a whopping 55 sets. Middle Blocker Chike Oppurum also was set frequently with 23 sets, scoring 12 points with three stuff blocks, even bringing down the Stunner big man Jair Santiago. Outside Chase McKenzie made an impressive showing in his debut event scoring at a 50% attack ratio. Then Middle Blocker Joseph Grosh put on the heat himself with seven kills out of 11 swings, hitting at a 64% efficiency.

The Stunners did well to limit their errors in the match, with Joey Jarvis maintaining a +10 W-L point ratio scoring 12 kills at 50% efficiency. Middle Blocker Nick West hit with some blistering intensity, scoring 11 kills with no errors hitting at the highest efficiency of the match at 73%. As a passing unit, the Stunners were unwavering with a 71% positive passing average, with Jarvis (78%), Matt Hilling (70%), and Dylan Shigekawa (68%) efficiently handling the Tornadoes' serves. Opposite Jair Santiago and Hilling led the team with points, with Santiago scoring 14 kills at 54% and Hilling rattling off four aces.

The match was extremely close in the middle sets going into extra points, with the Tornadoes' success causing real chemistry problems on the Stunners bench leading to multiple mid-game arguments. In the end, the Stunner's ability to score out of system passes (50% compared to the Tornadoes' 38%). Their superior passing (71% positive compared to Dallas' 54%) gave them more opportunity to fight at the net.

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The Tornadoes now sit in 4thplace in the American Conference, just behind Southern Exposure by one FIVB Point. If they can 3-0 sweep their next two matches against the Utah Stingers and Colorado Kraken, they may have a chance to move up and secure 2ndplace in the playoffs, giving themselves n easier route to the Finals.

- NVA Staff Writer