Kennesaw, Ga. - The Tennessee State volleyball team split its first two matches of the KSU Owls Invitational. The team defeated Chattanooga for the first time in program history, 3-1 (25-19, 28-30, 25-22, 25-23), but followed the win with a loss to Kennesaw State, 0-3 (22-25, 12-25, 21-25).
Sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells led the Tigers with 31 kills, including 23 in the win against Chattanooga. Freshman middle blocker Lindsay Hornsby and sophomore outside hitter Sherryce Butler added 22 and 18 kills, respectively.
Junior setter Erika Moss had 37 assists in match one, and recorded 18 in match two. She also had a team-high 14 digs versus Chattanooga.
Seniors Calasia Williams and Britani Hathorn had double-digit digs in match one, along with Moss and Well's 11.
In set one of match one, Wells had eight kills including TSU's set-tying 11th point and go-ahead 12th point. The set went back and forth, and the Tigers were still only up by one at 19-18. From that point, TSU went on a 6-1 run to win the frame.
After a heart-breaking 28-30 loss in set two, TSU rebounded well by pushing ahead 3-0 to open the third period. The Mocs tied the score at three and the teams traded blows until the score got to be 21-21. Another late run from TSU, this one 4-1, propelled the Tigers to set a victory and a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers came roaring out of the gates in set four and jumped out to a 10-3 lead on the back of three straight service aces. The Mocs fought back and got within one at 22-21. However, an emphatic kill from Wells ended the set and the match.
The Tigers' luck ran out in the second match of the night when an 8-2 KSU run early in the first frame allowed the Owls a 1-0 set advantage.
An 11-4 Owls run to start the second frame, put the Tigers behind early. TSU got within four at 15-11, but the Tigers would score just one more point for the remainder of the set.
Neither side could gain the edge early in set three, and the score was tied at five apiece. A slew of TSU errors and kills from KSU's Emily Bean doomed the Tigers' chance for a comeback.
The next opponents for the Tigers are North Carolina Central and Troy tomorrow at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.