Jacksonville, Ala.---The Tennessee State University volleyball team defeated Morehead State 3-2 (30-24, 30-17, 29-31, 26-30, 15-12) to win the 2007 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship Saturday evening. With the win, Tennessee State earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
This marks the program’s first OVC Tournament Championship in school history as the Lady Tigers were OVC Regular Season Champions in 2005.
Endia Oliver had a game high 13 blocks and hit .538 for Tennessee State while Christian Lowe paced TSU with a game-high 26 kills in addition to 12 digs. Collese Dornan (16) and Kelly Davis (12) also tallied double figures in kills for the Lady Tigers. Kamille King had 17 digs while Melissa Silva added 15.
Both teams battled from the onset of game one with neither team claiming more than a three point lead for most of the contest. Trailing 13-16, Tennessee State rallied off three unanswered points to tie the game 17-17.
TSU went ahead 21-19 following a kill from Endia Oliver and an attack error by Morehead’s Kelsey Cronin. MSU called a timeout to recover but TSU continued to build on its lead going up 26-23. Following another Morehead timeout, Tennessee State outscored the Eagles 4-1 to capture a 30-24 game one win.
Leading the match 1-0, Tennessee State jumped out to a 9-3 lead in game two forcing Morehead to call a timeout. The Eagles later cut the deficit down to two (16-18) but back to back kills from the Lady Tigers stretched the lead to 20-16. MSU took a timeout but never recovered as TSU went on an imposing 10-1 run to close out the game.
TSU managed to build a slight 26-23 lead late in game three but Morehead responded with a run to cut the deficit down to one (25-26) and eventually tied the game 28-28. With the game tied 29-29, Morehead State scored the next two points to squeeze out the 31-29 win and extend the match to a game four.
Riding the momentum of the game three win, Morehead State opened game four on a 4-0 run. TSU would later cut the deficit to two (5-7) on a kill by Kelly Davis but MSU outscored the Lady Tigers 7-2 to re-up the lead to 14-7.
TSU cut the deficit down to two (16-18) but MSU answered with a 7-1 run to go up 25-17. Three consecutive points by TSU would bring the game to 20-25. TSU fought back to within two (26-28) down the stretch but the Eagles were able to keep the Lady Tigers at bay and pull out the 30-26 win.
In the fifth and deciding game, two kills by Christian Lowe, an attack error by Morehead’s Amber Campbell and a service ace by Kamille King gave TSU a 4-0 advantage. TSU held an 8-3 lead at the halfway point of game five and pushed it to 9-3 on a block by Collese Dornan.
Following a Morehead State timeout TSU continued to build on the advantage and captured a 12-6 lead. Morehead responded with five straight points to cut TSU's lead down to three (10-13). Leading 14-12, a timely block by Lowe pushed TSU to the game and match win.