NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After picking up a huge home victory over Belmont on Tuesday night the volleyball team will hit the road for five straight matches, beginning with a trip to Eastern Illinois on Friday.
On Tuesday Tennessee State (4-9, 1-2) put in a complete game against the pre-season OVC favorite eclipsing multiple season highs in the win.
As a team the Tigers recorded season highs in kills, total attacks and assists in the victory. Junior Sherryce Butler led the team in kills posting a career high 23 while recording a .371 hitting percentage. Senior setter Erika Moss continued her stellar year dishing out a season best 54 helpers.
TSU’s offense has been propelled by emergence of freshman outside hitter Arijana Anderson and her progression in the Tigers’ dynamic offensive attack. Anderson has become a dominant force alongside upperclassman Butler and Naomi Wells. The Muncie, Ind. native has begun her Tennessee State career on the right foot racking up 106 kills in the early-going ranking third on the team, behind the aforementioned Butler and Wells.
The trio has combined for 395 kills on the year providing 8.6 kills per set for the Tigers offense.
Tennessee State’s attack is directed by Moss, the senior has 436 assists this season increasing her school record total to 3,792 helpers in her career.
Defensively Tennessee State has been paced by their ability to pick up digs. Junior libero Ileanushka Moldanado leads Big Blue with 161 digs. Butler has also been pivotal on the block accounting for 30 blocks on the season for an average of 0.63 blocks per set.
The Tigers will be hitting the road for the first time in conference play when they travel to Charleston, Ill. to take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers (8-8, 2-1) Friday.
After dropping their first conference match to Southeast Missouri, 3-2, the Panthers have hit their stride winning two straight conference tilts, including a 3-1 victory over SIU Edwardsville Tuesday night.
Eastern Illinois used a dominant attack racking up 65 kills with a .256 hitting percentage. Chelsea Lee, Abby Saalfrank and Reynae Hutchinson led the attack each picking up 16 kills on the night.
Sophomore setter Marah Bradbury is the catalyst of the Panthers attack averaging 10.6 assists per set which leads the OVC. On the year Bradbury has compiled 646 helpers.
As a team the Panthers lead the conference in hitting percentage (.224) and kills (13.46 per set).
The two teams will square off in EIU’s Lantz arena Friday night with first serve set for 7 p.m.