JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The Tigers went toe-to-toe with Jacksonville State Saturday night but the Gamecocks prove to be too much, downing Tennessee State, 3-0
Junior Naomi Wells continued her strong play from Tennessee Tech into Saturday night’s match against Jacksonville State. The Huntsville, Ala. native posted a double-double on the night with 17 kills and 14 digs. From her outside hitter position, Wells posted a .239 hitting percentage.
Wells was joined on the offensive end by freshman Arijana Anderson, the Muncie, Ind. native posted nine kills and a team high .286 hitting percentage in the match.
Senior Erika Moss once again propelled the Tigers attack, with 39 assists to go along with 20 digs giving her a double-double for the night.
Jacksonville State (11-10, 4-2) came out firing in the first to take an early 6-2 lead. Tennessee State (6-11, 2-4) chipped away at the Gamecocks advantage getting within two points, at 14-12, after an Erika Moss ace.
The Tigers got within just one point of the lead on two occasions, with the latest being 19-18, after an Arijana Anderson kill. Jacksonville State maintained their poise to close the opening set, 25-21.
TSU returned the Jacksonville State run in the second set blitzing out to a 10-5 lead, capped by a Sherryce Butler kill. The Gamecocks retook the lead 14-11, with the help of a 9-1 run. Both teams traded points with the Tigers staying within striking distance.
With TSU trailing 23-19, coach Kathy Roulhac’s team used a 6-1 stretch to knot the set at 24. Wells’ attacks highlighted the span racking up two kills of her own. Anderson provided the kill and the Tigers had tied the set for the first time since 11-11. The rally ended there though, with Jacksonville State taking back-to-back points winning the set 26-24.
The home team raced out to an early 5-0 lead out of the locker room. Tennessee State returned the push with a run of their own, taking the 6-5 lead after collecting six straight points. Upperclassmen Wells and Moss lead the charge for the Tigers with Wells racking up three kills and Moss chipping in with a service ace.
The lead would seesaw back-and-forth throughout the third frame, with the set being tied 11 times. With Tennessee State leading by just a point, 21-20, the Tigers reeled off three straight points to get within one point of closing out the set. The run included back-to-back kills from Butler and Wells combined with a set error from Jacksonville State.
TSU couldn’t close out the set as the Gamecocks rattled off four points to lock the frame, 24-24. The two OVC foes battled closely to end the frame with four lead changes and five ties, with Jacksonville State taking the final lead and the set, 30-28. Winning the set gave the Gamecocks the 3-0 win in OVC showdown.
Tennessee State will return to action with an out of conference match-up with in-state rival Memphis. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
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