CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After dropping the first match start to the 49er invite on Friday, the Tigers rounded out the weekend with split on Saturday. Capping off the tournament with a straight sets win over fellow HBCU South Carolina Sate.
Following a loss to Charlotte earlier in the day TSU (3-7) responded big with a 3-0 win (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) over the Bulldogs (0-13).
Senior setter Erika Moss closed out the tournament with a 33 assist performance on her way to being named to the 49er Invitational all-tournament team. Moss recorded 98 assists in the tournament including a 25 assist performance on Friday against Elon.
In Tennessee State’s final game of the 49er Invite the Tigers began the match in a back-and-forth contest with South Carolina State where either team was unable to extend the lead past two points. The score was knotted at 5-5 when the Tigers made their charge extending a lead out to 17-10 aided by an 8-3 run. Including an impressive three point run by junior outside hitter Naomi Wells who racked up a kill and two service aces in the swing.
The Bulldogs would battle back tying the score at 23-23. TSU grind out two consecutive points including a set winning kill from freshman outside hitter Arijana Anderson. to win the first set 25-23.
The Tigers picked up where they left off in the second set using another big run to race out to an 11-6 lead. South Carolina State responded with another run of their own cutting the TSU lead down to one, 21-20. Tennessee State closed out the set with four straight points to claim the second stanza, 25-20.
South Carolina State came out of the break quick taking the early 8-7 lead. The edge wouldn’t hold as TSU used an 8-1 run breaking the game open and giving the Tigers a 15-9 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Tennessee State would close out the third and decisive set 25-18 on a four point run.
Wells lead the team in kills for the sixth straight match recording 14 in the win. Junior libero Ileanushka Maldonado continued her strong showing in the tournament with 15 digs alongside junior outside hitter Taylor Swayzer’s 14 digs the Tigers totaled 54 digs on the evening.
In Tennessee States first match with Conference USA’s Charlotte 49ers the hosts proved to be too much, downing the Tigers 3-1.
Charlotte (9-5) got off to a quick start in the opening stanza taking the 13-7 lead. TSU would battle back the margin to five, 16-11, on an Arijana Anderson kill. Elon proved to be too strong in the first set on their way to a 25-18 opening set victory.
In the second set the clubs would trade punches early in the frame with neither team taking a lead larger than three points. The 49ers held the lead at 8-7 when they went on a 3-0 run to take an 11-7 lead. TSU would scrap their way back in to the set going on an 8-2 run to trim the lead back down to just two, 15-13, on a Sherryce Butler kill. Charlotte would be up to the task responding to the Tigers run and closed the set 25-18
The 49ers rushed out to an early 16-11 lead. TSU would battle to keep Charlotte within reach trimming the 49er advantage down to three, 21-18, on a Zoe Sostre kill. The Niners would close out the set 25-21 to win the match in straight sets.