Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State volleyball team defeated Eastern Illinois in straight sets (25-16, 25-15, 25-18) on Sunday afternoon in Kean Hall.
Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Ambroch led TSU (8-8, 3-1 OVC) with 14 kills and a .778 hitting percentage, while freshman middle blocker Lindsay Hornsby chipped in with 12 kills of her own.
Junior setter Erika Moss recorded another 30-plus assist match, recording 36 to go along with eight digs. Moss' eight digs were second highest on the team, trailing only senior libero Britani Hathorn who had 15.
The Tigers benefitted from five EIU errors and kills from four different players to jump out to an early 11-6 first set lead. Later in the frame, Hornsby became the fifth Tiger to record a kill, and a block forced EIU to use its first timeout of the period. The timeout did little to stop the TSU attack as Moss recorded her first kill in the match to extend the Tigers' lead to six. The Panthers used another timeout when senior defensive specialist Calasia Williams notched a service ace, but Ambroch had two of her six set kills to put the Tigers in the lead, 1-0.
The Tigers hit an impressive .478 during the first set, and only allowed EIU to hit .045.
After switching ends of the court, EIU took an early 5-3 advantage. The Tigers responded with three kills from Hornsby and one from sophomore outside hitter Sherryce Butler to take the lead, 8-6. A service ace from Hathorn later in the period forced the Panthers to call for a stoppage of play. After the timeout, EIU gained one point, but Ambroch and sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells tallied more kills to put the score at 17-10 in favor of TSU. Butler became a force down the stretch, recording three kills before an attack from Ambroch allowed the Tigers to take set two.
It was a strong frame from Ambroch, as she tallied five kills in five chances for a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage.
Butler started the third period with a kill and the Tigers clawed to an early 9-5 advantage. From there, EIU mounted a small charge on the heels of multiple TSU errors. The comeback was short-lived however, as Butler slammed home a kill to make the score 15-10. Back-to-back points from freshman Emilie Sandve Aase extended the Tigers' lead to six and forced the Panthers to use a timeout. The timeout did little to change the outcome of the match as Wells tallied a kill to give the Tigers their eighth win of the season.
The loss dropped Eastern Illinois' record to 3-12 and 0-4 in conference play.
The Tigers' next matches will be at home on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State, respectively.