Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State volleyball team notched its seventh win of the season with a come from behind victory at Belmont. The Tigers fell behind by two sets before coming back to defeat the Bruins, 3-2 (20-25, 15-25, 25-19, 25-22, 16-14).
It was the first time since Sept. 17 of last season that the Tigers came back from a 0-2 hole to win a match.
Playing in just her third match since injuring her knee, sophomore outside hitter Rachel Ambroch led the team in kills with 20 on the night.
Ambroch also notched 14 digs while senior libero Britani Hathorn had a team-high 22. Senior defensive specialist Calasia Williams had double-digit digs too, as she had 11.
Junior setter Erika Moss also had a season-high 49 assists to go along with six digs and four kills.
In set one, TSU fell behind 3-7 before head coach Kathy Roulhac called the team's first timeout. From that point, the Tigers went on an 11-6 run on the backs of a handful of Belmont errors and three kills from Ambroch. TSU would quickly give up its one-point advantage, and the Bruins rolled to a 23-18 lead before Roulhac called another timeout. After a pep talk from their coach, the Tigers responded with a quick two points, but the Bruins would eventually take the pivotal first set in large part to TSU's -.049 hitting percentage in the frame.
Period two started much like the first with Belmont jumping out to an early lead with its attackers racking up seven kills. Down 12-4, Roulhac called a timeout to trying to get the Tigers back into the match. The brief stoppage provided a small spark for TSU as the team rattled off four straight points highlighted by two straight kills from sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells. However, the strong attacks provided no momentum for TSU and the Bruins continued to score in bunches to lead the second frame 22-11. Yet another timeout from TSU did little to change the outcome of the set as a late kill gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Finally, Tennessee State mounted a charge at the start of the third game, and a service ace from Ambroch gave the Tigers a 7-3 advantage. TSU kept up the pressure as Ambroch and Wells racked up more kills to put Big Blue up 20-12 before Belmont called a timeout. The Bruins went on a 7-5 run to close out the set, but that meant that TSU took its first set of the match, 25-22.
Neither team could gain an early edge in set four and the score was tied at nine apiece. The Tigers finally clawed out to a 13-9 lead that included an emphatic block from sophomore outside hitter Sherryce Butler that she sent back to the deep part of the court. Another block from Butler later in the frame extended the Tigers' lead to six before the Bruins took their second timeout in the set. The Bruins came back to get within two at 24-22, but Ambroch spiked the ball for the set victory and the equalizer.
In the fifth and final set, Belmont held an 8-6 lead when TSU committed two errors. After the teams traded sides, TSU called timeout after Belmont went up 12-9, and the Tigers proceeded to win the next two points. The scoring outburst led Belmont to call a timeout of its own. A second timeout from Belmont later in the period could not save the Bruins and TSU won the set and the match with a kill from Ambroch.
The Tigers next play at home against Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 12 p.m.
Watch what Rouhlac said about the win below:
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