Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State volleyball continued its path to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament with a sweep at Murray State (25-22, 25-20, 28-26) on Friday night. With the win TSU improved to 17-10 and 12-7 in the OVC as it remained tied for second with UT Martin, who defeated SIU-Edwardsville. Murray State fell to 8-22 overall and 8-11 in conference play.
Shaquita Williams led the Tiger attack with a match-high 12 kills. The senior from Huntsville, Ala., hit .321 (12-3-28) on the evening and also led all players with three aces.
Sherryce Butler finished with nine kills and Terakka Walker added seven more as Tennessee State totaled 41 kills compared to 34 for the Racers. Walker finished with a .400 (7-1-15) hitting percentage with nine digs and an ace, while Butler finished the match hitting .250 (9-4-20). Britani Hathorn led the Tigers with 11 digs and added one service ace.
Murray State took charge in game one reeling off seven straight points to take a commanding 10-3 lead. TSU would fight back to square the score 16-16. The teams would trade points until the Racers ran off four straight to regain the lead 22-19. Butler would take over with three kills, including the game winner, as the Tigers tallied the final six points of the game to win 25-22. Walker led the way hitting .750 (3-0-4) along with Williams and Butler who each finished game one hitting .429 (3-0-7).
Game two remained close with no team getting more than three points away from the other. With the score tied 17-17, the Tigers took a three point lead on consecutive attack errors by the Racers, including a block by Williams and Rachel Ambroch. The Tigers would make the Murray State mistakes stick as they finished out the game outscoring their opponents 5-3, capped by an Erika Moss kill for a 25-20 win. TSU had 13 kills with three errors on 30 attempts for a .333 hitting percentage, opposed to the Racers who finished game two hitting .030 (11-10-33).
In the final game, Murray State raced out to a 6-1 lead only to see TSU fight back to tie the score at 9-9. The game turned into a back-and-forth affair with Murray State seeming to take control with back-to-back kills to take a 21-19 lead. But Williams brought the Tigers back with a kill and a service ace to tie the game at 21-21. The two teams traded points before Williams and Ambroch combined on a block to take a 27-26 lead. Ambroch would put away a Moss set to close out the game 28-26.
The Tigers close out the regular season on the road tomorrow at 5 pm against Southeast Missouri State.