Jacksonville, Ala. - After losing to Jacksonville State on Oct. 6, the Tennessee State volleyball team (12-10, 6-3 OVC) got revenge on the Gamecocks by winning the second meeting, 3-1 (25-15, 17-25, 25-22, 25-20).
The Tigers won the match on the defensive end with 77 digs and eight blocks. Four Tigers ended the match with double-digit kills with senior libero Britani Hathorn tallying a game-high 23.
On offense, sophomore outside hitters Naomi Wells and Rachel Ambroch led the way with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Freshman Lindsay Hornsby had nine kills of her own and was TSU's most efficient attacker, hitting .240.
For the second match in a row, junior setter Erika Moss recorded 39 sets in a victory. It was her eighth consecutive 30-plus assist match of the season and 15th overall.
The Tigers came roaring out of the gates to start the match and scored the first seven points. Wells led the charge with three kills that were set up by Moss. TSU added to its lead with kills from Ambroch and Hornsby, and were quickly up 12-2. JSU (11-12, 5-4 OVC) scored six straight points later in the match but by that time, the Tigers were still up by seven. TSU ended the first frame on a 5-1 run that was completed by a pair of JSU errors.
TSU came into the match leading the OVC with 1.49 service aces per set, and the Tigers scored three aces in the first period to add to their total.
The second set started much closer than the first and the score was quickly tied at two with Wells' only kill of the period. Five TSU errors allowed the Gamecocks to take an 8-3 lead before Moss stopped the flurry of miss-hits with her first kill of the match. The Tigers went on a 5-1 run later in the match to pull within three, but JSU countered with a 5-0 run to take a big lead. TSU was unable to gain ground on the Gamecocks and an error from Moss tied the match at 1-1.
JSU had seven blocks in the second frame while TSU had one service error without an ace.
The sides played to a 5-5 tie to begin the third set with four JSU errors contributing to the Tigers' five points. The Gamecocks pulled slightly ahead with a 4-1 run that consisted of four JSU kills. The Tigers fought back to lead the set, 12-11 when Ambroch slammed home a kill that was assisted by Moss. The teams traded blows for a spell before TSU went on a 4-1 run that was capped by a kill from Ambroch. The outburst of points from TSU attackers caused Jacksonville State to use its first timeout of the set. JSU's strategy backfired, as a Gamecock service error allowed TSU to hang on for a three-point set victory.
The Tigers hit .200 during the third frame which was .023 points higher than their first set and .275 more than their second.
Neither team could pull away from the other in the fourth set, but sophomore Sherryce Butler finally gave TSU the first two-point lead of the frame at 9-7. JSU quickly tied the score yet again and went up 14-11 with a service ace. A 4-1 TSU run tied the set at 15, and the Tigers used their momentum to take a two-point lead later in the set. The Gamecocks called time to regroup, but the Tigers only added to their lead from that point. TSU ended the match on a 6-1 run that was highlighted by kills from three different Tiger attackers.
There were 15 ties in the final set, but TSU hit .021 points better to hang on for a narrow set win.
The Tigers' next match is tomorrow at Tennessee Tech at 2 p.m. TSU beat TTU 3-0 on Oct. 5.
-- TSU TIGERS --