Nashville --- The Tennessee State University volleyball team dropped its season opener to Western Kentucky, 3-0, Tuesday night in Kean Hall.
TSU, which is still without its primary setter because of an injury, fell to 0-1 while WKU improved to 2-2 on the season.
After a slow start in set one, TSU picked up the intensity in the second set and continued to fight through the third. The Tigers, however, seemed to lose steam towards the end as Western Kentucky was able to pull off the sweep.
Junior Terakka Walker, who has recently filled the role of setter for TSU, recorded 23 assists in the match. Senior Santia Sanders led the Tigers with nine kills while sophomore Calasia Williams turned in a team best 11 digs. Jordyn Skinner led the Hilltoppers with 10 kills and Sarah Rodgers tallied 10 digs.
In set one, TSU scored the first point behind an
attack error by WKU. The Hilltoppers, however, used a run to open up a 17-5 lead before cruising to the 25-10 win.
The Tigers battled in the second set. After trailing, 10-6, TSU chipped away at the WKU advantage before eventually knotting the score, 18-18. The teams went point-for-point over the next few rallies but the Hilltoppers outscored the Tigers 5-2 down the stretch to escape with the win.
With WKU holding on to a slight 6-4 lead, in the third set, the Hilltoppers went on a run and stretched the advantage to 11-5. Later in the set, the Tigers closed to within four points but were unable to get over the hump.
"I thought it started off a little bit slow but it was our first set of the 2010 season," said head coach Kathy Roulhac. "We regrouped in the second set and came out pretty strong and played really aggressive."
As a team, Tennessee State hit .122 in the match and committed 18 errors while Western Kentucky registered a .363 hitting percentage and had seven miscues.
"Tonight between the first set and the second set, we got so much better," Roulhac continued. "We're really excited about our possibilities of getting better and doing some great things this weekend."
The Tigers return to action this weekend when they participate in the Active Ankle Challenge tournament hosted by Ball State. TSU will face Ball State on Friday before matching-up with Oakland University and Robert Morris on Saturday.