I think the biggest difference from last year to this year is Merseli. She was on fire in November last year, hitting .233 with 4 kills per set, much better than she had been doing before that. So they went to her more often, over 12 attacks per set when she normally got about 10. And having that weapon from the back had to have made things open up for the front row hitters.
This November, her numbers are pretty much what they have been all year, hitting about .170 with 2.8 kills per set.
FWIW, over the last 2 sets yesterday, Tamara had 8 kills with 2 errors on roughly 25 total attacks. Hope it continues.