NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After battling late in all three sets Eastern Kentucky proved to be too much for Tennessee State as they downed the Tigers, 3-0 (22-25, 21-25, 20-25).
Once again junior outside hitter Naomi Wells led the Tigers in kills racking up 17 on the evening to a tune of .225 hitting percentage. Wells was joined by freshman outside hitter Arijiana Anderson who tallied eight kills in the match highlighted by a .462 hitting percentage.
Senior setter Erika Moss picked up 27 assists to continue her strong play after being named to the all-tournament team at 49er Invitational last weekend. Moss also led the team in digs with nine followed by junior libero Ileanushka Maldonado who picked up seven digs of her own.
The first set began with each team trading points. With Tennessee State trailing by just a point, 13-12, Eastern Kentucky went on a 7-1 run to separate the two OVC teams. Coming out of the run the Colonels would hold the 20-13 advantage. TSU continued to battle trimming the lead to 23-17 when Coach Kathy Roulhac’s group put in a run of their own. The Tigers would outscore the Colonels 5-1 in the next six points cutting the EKU lead down to just 24-22 with back-to-back service aces from freshman setter Taylor Patterson. Eastern Kentucky would close out the first set one point later with a kill from all OVC hitter Ashley Edmond to close the first set 25-22.
After dropping the first set the Tigers came out rolling in the second stanza rushing out to an 8-3 advantage. Junior Taylor Swayzer recorded two kills and a service ace in the run to propel Tennessee State in the early-goings. The Colonels chipped away at the Tigers lead cutting the advantage down to 16-13. Eastern Kentucky would once again rally for a 9-2 run grabbing a 22-18 lead late. A lead that would propel the Colonels to a 25-21 set win and giving EKU the 2-0 set advantage heading into the break.
In the third and final set the two OVC rivals went back and forth early with Tennessee State taking the lead 14-12. The Colonels then used a 9-2 run to bust the set wide open. EKU’s Ashley Edmond notched two kills in the rally. TSU would rally late but the Eastern Kentucky lead proved to be too large as they took the set 25-20 and winning the match 3-0. The set was highlighted by a nine kill effort from Naomi Wells.
Tennessee State will return to action tomorrow as they take on three-time defending regular season champion Morehead State at Kean Hall with first serve set for 2 p.m.