Cookeville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State volleyball team won its third consecutive match with a three-set sweep of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (25-20, 25-19, 25-21).
Junior setter Erika Moss did it all for the Tigers (13-10, 7-3 OVC), leading the team in assists (37) and tying for the team high in digs (16). She also had two kills and no errors in six attempts.
Moss shared the dig lead with sophomore outside hitter Naomi Wells who also led the squad in kills with 15. Fellow sophomore Sherryce Butler also finished in double-digits with 10 kills from the middle blocker position.
Seniors Britani Hathorn and Calasia Williams also had double figure dig totals in the match, but Hathorn's biggest impact on the match was her serving. Hathorn came into the match ranked fifth in the conference with .3 service aces per set and she finished this match with four aces in three sets.
TSU jumped out to 7-5 lead in the first set, but had five errors in the early going. The sides played to a 9-9 tie later in the frame, but the Tigers quickly broke the tie with a 3-0 run that featured a kill from Butler and a one from sophomore Rachel Ambroch. Those two then picked up errors and TTU (2-20, 0-10 OVC) scored a kill to tie the game yet again. The teams went back-and-forth tallying scores until a rotation penalty on TSU made the score 19-19. From that point, the Tigers rattled off five consecutive points on the backs of three TTU errors to take a commanding lead. The Golden Eagles recorded a kill, but Wells added her fourth kill of the set to put TSU up, 1-0.
The Tigers dominated the first set, hitting .244 while holding TTU to just a .053 line during the opening period.
The Tigers started strong in set number two as well and soon led 5-1. Three more TTU errors and an ace from Hathorn sparked the run. TSU added to its lead later in the frame when Wells had a kill sandwiched between two from Ambroch to put the Tigers up 12-5. Tennessee Tech called time to stop the run, but it did not stop the Tigers. Butler, Ambroch and Wells all recorded kills as TSU scored five of the next seven points after the timeout. With TSU up 20-13, TTU used its second timeout of the frame and the Golden Eagles responded by outplaying the Tigers 6-5 down the stretch. Unfortunately for TTU, the Tigers only needed five points to win the set and a Golden Eagle error gave TSU a 2-0 lead in the match.
Wells had seven kills in the set, helping the Tigers hit a game-high .256.
With its back against the wall, Tennessee Tech finally had a solid start to a set, scoring the first three points of the third frame. The Golden Eagles even held an 8-3 advantage before TSU head coach Kathy Rouhlac called her first timeout of the match. The Tigers scored the next four points coming out of stoppage, and eventually tied the score at nine with an assisted kills from Ambroch. From there, the Tigers went on a 6-2 run that ended with a pair of aces from Hathorn to take a big lead. This time it was TTU's turn to call time, but Hathorn recorded another ace following the timeout to make the score 16-11. A little later, Tech used three kills by Kelsey Gray to go on a 6-1 run that put TTU down by just one. Rouhlac called time to regroup and her team replied by forcing TTU into errors that eventually allowed TSU to hang on for a four-point set victory.
TSU next plays this weekend when the team takes on Murray State at 7 p.m. on Friday night. The Tigers will then play Austin Peay on Saturday, Oct 27.
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