MURRAY, Ky. – Junior Naomi Wells returned to form on Friday night rattling off 22 kills in 3-0 sweep of Murray State.
The reigning OVC Co-Offensive Player of the week posted a season high in kills (22) and her second best hitting percentage of the year (.571). Wells also added three blocks to bring her point total to 23.5 on the night.
Wells’ was aided by a solid performance from senior setter Erika Moss who recorded her second best assist total of the year, with 52 helpers. Her assists led to four Tigers recording eight or more kills. Both freshman Arijana Anderson and junior Sherryce Butler picked up 10 kills, with junior Taylor Swayzer providing eight kills.
Moss paired her offensive performance with 11 digs for her eleventh double-double of the season. Junior Ileanushka Maldonado led Tennessee State in digs with 19. Moldanado and Moss were joined at the double-digit dig plateau by Jamie Cooper, who finished the night with 12 digs.
Tennessee State got behind early in the first set, trailing Murray State 13-11. The Tigers used a 6-1 run to take a 17-14 lead, capped by a Butler kill. Both teams traded points, with Murray State eventually knotting the frame at 20-20. From that point the two OVC teams had eight lead changes and seven ties, with the last tie coming at 28-28, after a Murray State service error.
Big Blue capitalized with the service in their favor, tallying two straight points to take the set 30-28. A combo block from Arrijana Anderson and Butler gave TSU a 29-28 lead. Anderson followed up her block with a kill to take the set.
In the frame Wells picked up nine kills on 10 attacks for a hitting percentage of .900. Butler posted five blocks to go along with four kills in the stanza.
The Tigers raced out to a big start in the second set grabbing the 12-2 lead. In the span Wells picked up four kills to lead the charge. Big Blue would extend its lead out to as many as 11 in the set at 19-8. Murray State closed within eight points on three different occasions but the Tigers fended off the attack to win the set 25-16.
Coming out of the break the Racers gave Tennessee State a battle from the start. With the Tigers holding the 8-6 lead, Murray State used a 6-0 run to grab a 10-8 advantage. Tennessee State responded with an 8-3 run to regain the lead, 16-13.
Murray State closed within one on two occasions, with the last time coming at 21-20. From there the Tigers closed out the set and the match on a 4-0 blitz. The run was ended with an exclamation with Wells’ 22nd kill.
Taylor Olden led the Racers in kills with 10 on the evening.
Tennessee State returns to action next Friday when they take on Morehead State, first serve for the contest is slated for 6 p.m.