Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University volleyball team dropped a crucial OVC contest to Eastern Illinois 3-1(15-25, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25) Friday night in Kean Hall.
Tennessee State (8-17, 6-11 OVC) recorded an attack percentage of .161 while Eastern Illinois (5-23, 2-15 OVC) hit a .252 for the match. The Tigers totaled 54 kills and 66 digs while the Panthers registered 55 kills and 68 digs.
TSU got off to a slow start in the first set an only recorded an attack percentage of .028 in the frame. The Tigers fell behind early and never recovered as the Panthers won the first set 25-15.
The Tigers bounced back in set two, hitting an impressive .389 and tallying a match-high 17 kills in the set. Holding a slight 11-10 lead, TSU created a little distance following three Tiger kills from Terakka Walker, Yamari Padilla-Collazo and Christian Lowe, respectively. The Tigers stretched the advantage to 23-18 on another kill from Lowe before claiming the set 25-22.
TSU trailed 18-22 late in the third set but fired off four unanswered points to even the score 22-22. EIU, however, scored the next three points to capture the 25-22 win and take a 2-1 match lead.
EIU captured an early 10-4 lead in set four and built the advantage to 18-8 following a Tiger service error. Despite the deficit, the Tigers continued to fight and outscored the Panthers 14-4 to come to within two (22-24). A kill by Christian Lowe brought the score to 23-24 but a put away by EIU's Alex Zwettler gave the Panthers the 25-23 win.
Seniors Christian Lowe and Candace Saleaumua were recognized before the match began. Lowe led the Tigers with 20 kills (.381) in addition to 10 digs for a double-double. Saleaumua also recorded a double-double with 17 digs and 11 kills. Terakka Walker also added 15 digs for TSU and Yamari Padilla-Collazo tallied 40 assists.
Kelsey Orr led EIU with 21 kills while Shaina Boylan tallied a team-high 15 digs.
TSU will play its final home match of the season tomorrow when the Tigers host the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri. Match time is slated for 2 p.m. in Kean Hall.