Normal, Ala. - The Tennessee State volleyball team (15-11, 8-4 OVC) used nine service aces to defeat the Bulldogs from Alabama A&M, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-20).
Sophomore Rachel Ambroch had four aces in the match while senior libero Britani Hathorn and sophomore Naomi Wells chipped in with three and four, respectively. The Tigers entered Tuesday's match leading the OVC with 1.54 aces per set.
Wells also recorded her ninth consecutive double-double with exactly 10 kills and a match-high 10 digs. She trailed only freshman Lindsay Hornsby, who ended up with 12 kills and a .426 hitting percentage.
Junior Erika Moss had 34 assists in the match to lead all setters. Moss has recorded at least 30 assists in every match since TSU's loss to Morehead State on Sept. 22.
Wells started the match by tallying back-to-back kills and Hathorn had her first ace to put TSU up 3-0. An attack error by Alabama A&M later in the set gave the Tigers a four-point lead and Moss' first kill in the match eventually made the score 11-3 with TSU on top. From that point, the Bulldogs never got within six of the Tigers' lead as TSU attackers racked up seven kills down the closing stretch of the period. Freshman Jordan Piper gave Tennessee State a 1-0 set advantage with a kill that was assisted by Moss.
Another ace from Hathorn got TSU off to a hot 2-0 start again in set two. Ambroch recorded three straight points after an Alabama A&M kill, giving the Tigers a 5-1 lead. The Bulldogs fought back with an 8-3 run later in the set to tie the score at 11. TSU trailed 14-13 when Hornsby scored a kill, and the Tigers never trailed in the set again. Tennessee State used an 8-1 run late in the frame to blow the game open. Four different attackers recorded kills during the string of scores, and sophomore Sherryce Butler put TSU up 2-0 with a set-ending spike.
Alabama A&M was much more competitive in the third set, and the two sides played to three-all early tie. From there, TSU went on a 5-1 run that was led by three kills from Hornsby. The Bulldogs stormed right back to tie the score at eight. The score was still even at 14 when the Tigers got back-to-back kills from freshman Emilie Sandve Aase in the midst of a 6-2 Tiger run. The Bulldogs got back within two, but Wells closed out the match with an assisted kill.
TSU hit .305 in the match and held the Bulldogs to just a .185 line.
The Tigers return home this weekend for a pair of OVC matches. TSU will first take on Morehead State on Friday night at 7 p.m. before battling the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky the following day. The match against EKU will start at 2 p.m. and will serve as the Tigers' senior night in honor of Britani Hathorn and Calasia Williams.