Morehead, Ky. - The Tigers got off to a slow start as they fell to Morehead State in their semifinal game at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships on Friday evening. The Tigers lost in three (13-25, 30-32, 21-25) to the top seeded Eagles to end their 2012 campaign.
TSU was held to their second lowest hitting total of the season with a .040 (31 kills-26 errors-125 total attempts) percentage. MSU finished with 44 kills (21e-123ta-.187) to go along with 12 blocks (three solo).
In the first set, the Eagles jumped out to an early 12-3 lead before the Tigers could mount any type of offense. At 15-7, a Sherryce Butler kill and a Rachel Ambroch ace bookend a couple Eagle miscues to get closer at 15-11. TSU could not get any closer as MSU closed out the set with a 10-2 run.
TSU recorded just seven kills opposed to eight errors in 34 attempts for a -.029 hitting percentage, while the Eagles hit .300 (13k-4e-30ta) in the opening set.
In the second set, the Tigers held a 9-7 lead when Butler's kill went off an MSU defenders head and seemed to ignite the team. Ambroch and Lindsay Hornsby followed up with a block of 2012 OVC Player of the Year Ellie Roberson to make the score 11-7. The Tigers continued to put the pressure on with kills by Ambroch and Hornsby and upped the lead to 14-7.
TSU would then stall as they committed six errors over the next nine points to allow Morehead State to tie the game at 15-15. The Eagles would gain the lead as the two teams would trade points in what became an epic battle.
With the score tied at 23-23, Roberson registered one of her game-high 20 kills to give the Eagles the advantage. Hornsby would return the favor to even the score at 24-24 and send the game into extra points. The Tigers took the advantage when Ambroch slammed home a kill and teamed up with Butler for a block to go ahead 27-26. TSU could not close out MSU as they had three separate occasions to win the second set. With the lead at 30-29, the Tigers recorded three straight attack errors and dropped a heartbreaker 32-30.
After trailing early in the third set, Emilie Aase scored a kill and was followed by two more off the arm of Ambroch to take the lead at 8-7. The set went back-and-forth until MSU was able to get away from the Tigers and build a 22-19 lead. TSU fought back as Moss dropped in a kill and was followed up by an Ambroch Ace to pull within one at 22-21. That is as close as the Tigers would get as the Eagles stepped up with two of their 12 blocks on the night to solidify the set at 25-21.
The Tigers closed out the season with an 18-14 record, equaling the number of wins from 2011. It is also tied for the fourth most wins in a season in school history.