Jacksonville, Ala. --- The TSU volleyball team lost a hard fought battle 2-3 (25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 29-31, 10-15) in the OVC opener at Jacksonville State Friday night in Pete Matthews Coliseum.
TSU (1-5, 0-1) won the first set of the match before dropping set two. The Tigers then came back to win set three before the Gamecocks (5-7, 1-0 OVC) turned in two straight wins to claim the match.
Christian Lowe led TSU with 21 kills in addition to 12 digs while Candace Saleaumua recorded 12 kills and 22 digs. Freshman Terakka Walker also registered a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Shawna Ruiz (17) and Yamari Padilla-Collazo (15) also posted double digits in digs.
Set one was a closely contested battle from the onset. With the score tied 10-10,
JSU grabbed an early 4-1 lead in set two but TSU came from behind and captured a 5-4 lead on a Gamecock attack error. The score remained close over the next several points until three JSU errors and a kill by Terakka Walker gave the Tigers a 15-11 lead and forced a Gamecock timeout.
Out of the timeout, JSU used a 5-1 run to knot the contest at 16-16. Down the stretch, the Gamecocks pulled ahead 20-17 following a timely kill and two costly TSU attack errors. JSU held on to the lead in route to the 25-22 set two win.
TSU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the third set before swelling the advantage to 9-2 on a service ace by Christian Lowe. Leading 19-10, TSU saw JSU put together a 7-2 run that brought the game to 21-17. The Tigers, however, scored four out of the next five points to seal the win a capture a 2-1 match lead.
The most fiercely contested battled of the match, set four featured 17 ties and 16 lead changes. The score went back and forth down the stretch. With the set tied 29-29, a JSU kill and a TSU attack error pushed the Gamecocks to the extra points 31-29 win.
In the fifth and deciding set, JSU jumped out to a 5-2 lead but TSU later clawed back to within one (9-8) on a kill by Lowe. The Gamecocks answered with a 4-1 run to stretch the lead to 13-9, leading to a TSU timeout. Out of the break, JSU scored two of the next three points to win the match.