Athens, Ga. --- The Tennessee State University volleyball team fell to tournament host Georgia, 3-1, before dropping three straight sets to Duke in the second game of the day.
The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers with set scores of 25-23, 13-25, 12-25 and 21-25. Tennessee State posted a hitting percentage of .164 while Georgia hit .416. Georgia registered 43 digs and 6.0 team blocks as TSU tallied 35 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
After a hard fought and well deserved set one win, the Tigers dropped three straight to the Bulldogs. TSU hit at least .200 or better in the first two sets but faltered in the final two, registering a .037 hitting percentage in set three and .148 in set four.
After trading the lead in the opening set, TSU finally took the advantage (14-13) for good on a service ace from Vicmari Prospero. Down the stretch the Tigers led 24-21 but the Bulldogs rallied to within one (24-23). The Tigers used a time out to recollect themselves before a kill by Shawna Ruiz gave TSU the win.
Georgia dominated the second set of the match. The Bulldogs opened up the contest by outscoring the Tigers 11-3 and never looked back en route to the 25-13 win.
Georgia scored the first two points of the third set before TSU got on the board on a Bulldog service error. From there, Georgia used a 5-1 run to extend the lead to 7-2 and maintained the advantage throughout the rest of the set. A kill from Danielle Howell cut the TSU deficit down to four (11-7) but that would be as close as the Tigers would get.
TSU improved its level of play from the two previous sets in the fourth. Both teams battled and went point for point in the early moments of the contest. Neither squad was able to build more than a one point lead until TSU created a little distance, 13-10, behind a kill from Shawna Ruiz and a Georgia attack error. The Tigers maintained a slight advantage over the next several points. With TSU holding an 18-15 lead, a couple of Tiger attack errors led to the Bulldogs posting the next four points and capturing the lead.
The Tigers called a timeout to collect themselves but two Bulldog service aces along with another TSU attack error moved Georgia ahead 22-18. The Bulldogs claimed the set 25-21.
In the second match versus Duke, the set scores were 25-15, 25-14 and 25-16.
The Tigers struggled offensively, only combining for a total of 26 kills as a team. TSU also turned in 26 attack errors on the night. The Blue Devils turned in 40 kills and a .402 hitting percentage as a team. Duke only committed seven errors.
TSU opens up the season with a record of 1-5. The Tigers will return to Nashville for the season home opener against UT Chattanooga next Tuesday, Sept.8. Match time is slated for 6 p.m. in Kean Hall.