Montgomery, Ala. – The Tennessee State University volleyball team dropped its first match of the season to the University of South Dakota, 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-25). However, the Tigers avenged their loss with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-14) sweep of Alabama State.
In match one, TSU (1-1) was led by junior setter Erika Moss who had a team-high 27 assists and two blocks. Moss was also tied for the team lead in digs with 12. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells added 14 kills to lead all Tiger scorers.
Tori Kroll paced South Dakota with 37 assists and five digs. Kendall Kritenbrink was the sole Coyote with double-digit kills, tallying 18.
In the first set, Tennessee State roared out of the gates to claim an early 3-0 lead. After padding the lead to 7-1, a string of TSU errors led to an 8-2 South Dakota run. With the set tied at nine apiece, South Dakota built an insurmountable lead with an 11-5 run, highlighted a handful of South Dakota kills.
The second set started much like the first with TSU jumping out to an early advantage at 2-0. The teams traded blows throughout the set until sophomore middle hitter Sherryce Butler finally ended the set at 25-21 with one of her six kills.
The score was knotted at 10-10 when South Dakota went on a 10-7 run to pull away by three. The Tigers tried to recover, and even reached within one of the lead before ultimately falling by four points.
Down two sets to one, the Tigers came out flat in the match's fourth set. South Dakota soared to a 6-2 run, and never relinquished the lead. TSU came within two at 7-9, but a bevy of kills from South Dakota buried the Tigers, 15-25.
Tennessee State ended match one of the day with a .113 hitting percentage while South Dakota hit .244
Match two proved to be a much better result for TSU thanks in large part to the team's .413 hitting percentage.
Moss led the Tigers once again in assists- this time with 32- and Wells again had 14 kills. Butler was not far behind with 12 kills of her own.
Senior libero Britani Hathorn led all players with 13 digs.
It was a sloppy match for Alabama State as the Hornets mustered a paltry .081 hitting percentage. Although, the team did have three players with more than five kills and Brooke Beasley chipped in 24 assists.
In the first set of match two, the Tigers raced out to a 13-5 lead on the back of seven kills and a handful of ASU errors. The trio of Butler, Wells and sophomore outside hitter Rachel Ambroch took turns racking up kills off of assists from Moss.
The second and third sets were more of the same for the Tigers. Each point seemed to add to TSU's momentum, and an increasing number of ASU errors did nothing to stop the attack.
Tennessee State will look to continue its winning streak tomorrow with contests against Southeastern Lousiana and Stetson.