Nashville, Tenn. - After falling behind 2-0, the Tennessee State volleyball team couldn't duplicate its comeback win over Belmont on Sept. 28, falling to the Bruins, 0-3 (21-25, 19-25, 23-25).
Sophomore Naomi Wells recorded a double-double for the Tigers (15-13, 9-6 OVC) with a team-high 12 kills to go along with 13 digs.
However, TSU held just a .161 hitting percentage in the match and committed eight service errors.
Sherryce Butler got TSU going with a pair of kills to open the match. She added another two points later to give the Tigers an early 3-1 lead.
The Bruins (14-15, 10-5 OVC) fought back and eventually took a 6-5 lead when an attack from freshman Lindsay Hornsby went long. Hornsby redeemed herself with a kill two points later, but TSU still trailed by one.
Belmont added to its lead later in the first frame when a block attempt by Ambroch backfired, making the score 12-9 in favor of the Bruins. TSU coach Kathy Rouhlac called timeout following the Belmont point. The strategy worked, as TSU rattled off a 6-2 run to take the lead at 15-14.
Following the string of TSU points, Belmont cobbled together a run of its own and eventually made the score 22-17 with the visitors on top.
TSU could only chip away at Belmont's advantage, and the Bruins eventually took the first set with a kill.
Butler once again got TSU off to a hot start with a kill to open the second frame. She then added a block assist and another kill, putting the Tigers in the lead, 5-2.
Just like in set one, Belmont came back from the early deficit and this time, took the lead at 8-7 with a kill. The Bruins eventually padded their cushion to three before TSU called time.
This time, Rouhlac's game plan did nothing to stop the Bruins' run as Belmont added five straight points following the stoppage of play to make the score 16-8.
Erika Moss had a pretty kill later in the period that landed on the line, and Rachel Ambroch added four points down the stretch, but their efforts were not enough as Belmont took set two.
Moss had 36 assists from the setter position and Ambroch had eight kills.
The Tigers only hit .132 in the second period, racking up 13 kills, but committing eight errors.
Butler recorded the opening point of the next set for the third straight time, but the Tigers' time on top of the scoreboard was short-lived at Belmont tallied five of the next six points.
The Tigers came roaring back with a 5-0 run that included kills by freshman Emilie Aase and Wells. The run made the score 7-5 in favor of TSU.
Tennessee State maintained a narrow lead through the next portion of the set, but an error on Hornsby tied the third frame at 15 apiece. Hornsby recorded a kill immediately after the error, and the Tigers were back in the driver's seat.
A 5-2 Belmont run after Hornsby's kill made the score 20-18 with the visitors on top. The sudden outburst by the Bruins caused TSU to burn a timeout, and the Tigers immediately responded with a pair of points to tie the frame.
Each side used a timeout during the final stretch of the set, as the teams traded kills. A final net violation on TSU ended the match.
Hear Naomi Wells' thoughts on the match, below:
The Tigers will travel to SIUE on Nov. 10 to close the regular season before starting the OVC Tournament.
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