Since the Tigers played host to EKU and Morehead, on Sept. 27 and 28 respectively Tennessee State charged to a 7-4 record.
Big Blue (10-13, 6-6) comes into the weekend sitting just a half game behind the Colonels (15-13, 7-5) in OVC’s Eastern Division.
TSU has won three out its last four contests, including a 3-0 sweep of Murray State on the road last Friday. In the match junior Naomi Wells posted a season high 22 kills combined with a .571 hitting percentage. The Tigers also had three attackers finish with eight or more kills, aided by a game high 52 assists from senior Erika Moss.
The Tigers attack remains a strong suit for coach Kathy Roulhac’s team. Wells continues to lead the OVC in kills (3.79) and points per set (4.30). As a team TSU ranks fourth in assists per frame (12.14) with Moss holding the third best average in the league (10.42).
Defensively the Tigers are emerging on the block this season, ranking eighth in blocks per stanza (1.61). Junior Sherryce Butler leads the effort with an average of 0.83 blocks per game which ranks eighth in the Ohio Valley.
Today, the Tigers will travel to Morehead State, a team that downed TSU 3-0 in the first meeting. Freshman Arijana Anderson posted a game-high 13 kills in that match to lead the Tigers. For Morehead State its attack led the way, with six players recording multiple kills for a total of 40 kills in the match. Laura McDermott led the Eagles in the kill category with 12.
Morehead State (21-6, 12-0) comes into the weekend dominating OVC play, only dropping three sets total in their OVC matches. Offensively the Eagles own the second best per set average in kills (13.06) and assists (12.36). On the defensive end of the court are holding opponents to a .140 hitting percentage, the lowest mark in the OVC. The Eagles are especially strong on the block, recording 1.97 blocks per set, the third best average in the conference.
The catalyst of the Morehead attack is Colby Cameron, who averages 9.93 helpers per contest for the Eagles which is the fourth best mark in the league. Hannah Sigala has been the Eagles biggest weapon on the defensive end, averaging 0.93 blocks per stanza, and the fourth best average in the OVC.
Saturday, TSU heads to Richmond, Ky. to matchup with Eastern Kentucky for the second and final time this season. In the first matchup the Colonels were led by an Ashley Edmond double-double of 10 kills and 11 digs. Junior Naomi Wells paced the Tigers attack with a game-high 17 kills while posting a .225 hitting percentage.
Eastern Kentucky is highlighted by their effort on the defensive end of the floor. The Colonels are holding opponents’ attackers to just a .198 hitting percentage. I big asset to their stingy defense is their ability to dig up attacks ranking sixth in the conference in blocks with 15.64 per set.
EKU is paced by a two-headed offensive attack in reigning OVC Offensive Player of the Week Edmond and Alexis Plagens. The duo holds the third (3.51) and tenth best (2.90) kills per set averages in the conference respectively. Dena Ott, this week’s OVC Defensive Player of the Week, aides the Colonels defensive unit averaging 4.77 digs per frame, the third best mark in the Ohio Valley.
First serve on Friday is set for 6 p.m. followed by a 1 p.m. start at EKU Saturday.