Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State volleyball team opens its second week of conference play with a trip to Belmont on Sept. 25 before hosting Eastern Illinois on Sept. 30.
TSU is 6-8 so far this season an is coming off of a 1-1 week that saw the team cruise to a 3-1 victory over eastern Kentucky, but also lose at Morehead State 0-3.
Senior libero Britani Hathorn was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week after accumulating a career-high 38 digs in the win at Eastern Kentucky followed by a seven dig performance at Morehead State. She has been the team's top defender on the young season and is ninth in the conference with 3.59 digs per set.
Offensively, sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells continues to lead the OVC in points per set, but the team has also received strong performances by sophomore Sherryce Butler and freshman Lindsay Hornsby during the last few matches. The duo tied for the team lead in kills against Morehead State and Butler has 35 kills in her last three matches.
The Tigers' first opponent of the week will be city-rival Belmont. Belmont is currently 5-11 on the year and 1-1 in the team's first season of OVC play. Much like TSU, Belmont beat EKU last weekend, but fell to Morehead State 3-0.
Belmont's strength is on defense where the team is fourth in the OVC in digs. A major reason for the high ranking has been the play of Jamie Lundstrom who is third in the conference with 5.06 digs per set.
Tuesday's meeting will be the 22nd in the series with the Bruins holding a 16-5 advantage going into the contest.
The second opponent of the week for the Tigers will be Eastern Illinois who is 3-11 on the season and have lost the last six matches. The Panthers are also coming off of a week where they lost two OVC matches to SEMO and UT Martin.
One area that the Panthers excel in is serving, and the team ranks third in the conference in aces per set. Marah Bradbury is third in the OVC in aces per set with 0.42 as a freshman. Expect EIU to try and get early points in TSU's first home conference match of the season.
This week's action starts tomorrow, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. in Belmont's Curb Center and continues the day after homecoming in Gentry Center at 12 p.m. against EIU.