Nashville --- Despite a break out performance from freshman Naomi Wells, the Tennessee State University volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to Southeast Missouri State Friday night in Kean Hall.
After dropping the first set, Tennessee State (3-19, 2-8 OVC) claimed the next two frames to capture a 2-1 match lead. Southeast Missouri (9-13, 5-6 OVC), however, won sets four and five to secure the victory.
The set scores were 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 10-25, 7-15.
Freshman Naomi Wells led Tennessee State with a career and match-high 18 kills and 24 digs for a double-double while Shaquita Williams added 16 kills. Terakka Walker recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 13 kills and 17 digs.
Kamille King also tallied 24 digs while Yamari Padilla-Collazo registered 12 digs and 58 set assists.
Southeast Missouri also had three players to post double digits in kills led by Karleigh DeLong's 15, in addition to 11 digs. Claire Keaton notched 12 kills and 19 digs while Emily Hughes added 11 kills.
Molly Davis finished the match with 23 digs while Kelly Benacka added 13.
The Tigers turned in 66 kills compared to the Redhawks 63 but TSU only hit .139 while SEMO managed .276. TSU had 97 digs and SEMO recorded 90 but the difference in team blocks was staggering as the Redhawks tallied 13 to the Tigers two.
SEMO used an early scoring spurt to create an 18-10 lead in the first set. TSU battled back to within one down the stretch, 23-21, but SEMO was able to pull out the 25-21 win.
TSU improved its hitting percentage in the second set and used timely kills from Naomi Wells to capture the win. With the Tigers leading 23-22, back-to-back kills from Wells led to the victory.
The Tigers took a 2-1 match lead after hitting .268 and recording 19 kills in the third set. With the score tied 21-21, TSU outscored SEMO 4-1 to claim the win.
The TSU offense struggled in set four as the Tigers had nine kills and committed nine errors. SEMO cruised to the 25-10 win.
The fifth and deciding set was a battle throughout the first few rallies. With the score tied 5-5, SEMO posted the next three points to go ahead 8-5. This led to a TSU timeout. SEMO held a 10-7 advantage when the Redhawks rallied off five unanswered points to seal the win.
The Tigers return to action tomorrow when they face the Panthers of Eastern Illinois in Kean Hall. Match time is slated for 2 p.m.