Montgomery, Ala. – The Tennessee State volleyball team won its second consecutive match with a 3-1 win (20-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-14) over Southeastern Louisiana. The Tigers then followed up their win with another 3-1 victory (22-25, 25-15, 25-17, 26-24) against Stetson.
The wins gave the Tigers a 3-1 record in the ISTAP Invitational.
In the first match, TSU was led by junior setter Erika Moss, who notched a season-high 49 assists. Offensively, sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells paced the Tigers with 22 kills while sophomores Serryce Butler and Rachel Ambroch chipped in with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.
Wells also added 11 digs, but senior libero Britani Hathorn led Big Blue with 17.
For Southeastern Louisiana, Beck Bekelja had 25 assists of the team’s 27 assists. Courtney Donald was the only Lady Lion with double-digit kills with 10, but she also led the team with three errors.
The first set started slowly for TSU as Southeastern Louisiana jumped out to a 5-2 lead. Head coach Kathy Rouhlac called a timeout, and her team responded by pulling within one at 8-7. The team’s traded blows until a series of service errors late in the set opened the door for Southeastern Louisiana.
Neither team was able to gain ground early in set two and the teams were tied at three. Then, a handful of errors from Southeastern Louisiana allowed TSU to pull away 9-6. From that point, the TSU hitters racked up kills and the Tigers ended the set on a 16-11 run.
With the match tied at one set apiece, Southeastern Louisiana showed some fight early in the set and neither team seemed to have the advantage. However, with the Tigers up 8-6, a pair of Lady Lion errors ignited a fire under TSU. The team rolled to a 25-16 set victory thanks to an 8-4 run.
With the match on the line, TSU made sure to finish off the Lady Lions in the fourth set, and did so in dominating fashion. The Tigers leapt out to an early 10-5 lead with four different players scoring kills. The Tigers didn’t look back, and they proceeded to go on a 8-4 run with Moss setting up Wells and Butler with two kills apiece. The Tigers ended the match on a 5-2 run and Butler recorded the match-clenching kill.
In match two, Moss had 38 assists, Wells and Ambroch again notched double-digit kills and three players recorded ten or more digs.
Stetson had a pair of players with double-digit assists while two others had ten-plus kills.
Neither team was able to pull away in the first set until the score was tied at eight. A TSU service error sparked a 17-15 run from Stetson to close out the set.
However, TSU rebounded in set two with an 11-7 run to start the set. A timeout from Stetson didn’t help the Hatters and TSU added to its lead via kills from three different players. A 6-2 TSU run gave the Tigers the equalizer and Moss got a rare kill to end the set.
The Tigers won the first two points of set three and never relinquished the lead. An 8-5 run highlighted by a pair of kills from Ambroch gave the Tigers a 2-1 set advantage.
The final set turned out to be a 26-24 thriller. TSU needed that extra point, but fended off a hard-fought Stetson run to seal the match.
The Tigers will return to action on the road in Portland, Ore. on Aug. 31 for the Nike Portland Invitational.
-- TSU TIGERS --