NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University volleyball team hosted the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday, beating them in straight sets at Kean Hall.
The Tigers (8-11, 2-2 Ohio Valley Conference) trailed only one time, early in the second set, to the Golden Lions (3-15, 2-2 SWAC) and won three sets to none, all by a margin of at least seven points per set.
“We’re trying to prepare for this weekend,” head coach Kathy Roulhac said. “We wanted to play a consistent match, point-by-point, and this was a good chance to work on that.”
Senior Taylor Swayzer and sophomore Arijana Anderson tied for the match-high in kills with 13. Senior Naomi Wells led the defense with 14 digs while sophomore Neisha Crockett led the match with five block assists. Freshman Samantha Beltran racked up 40 assists as she continues to climb the list of most assists in a single season.
“When the conference schedule gets broken up by a different, non-conference opponent, it’s good for the girls to see more diversity in styles of play. It’s also a good confidence builder.”
In the first set, TSU received strong performances from Swayzer, Anderson, and Beltran and won 25-18. Swayzer finished the beginning frame with five kills and a pair of block assists while Anderson also had a handful of kills and hit .267. Beltran got off to a roaring start as she notched 16 assists on the set and had five digs.
The second set saw a back-and-forth scoring barrage for a while, but with the score tied at 15, TSU went on a 10-3 run to win the set and take a 2-0 advantage into the intermission. The Tigers, as a team, improved upon the first set’s attack percentage by posting a .316 clip in the second.
The Tigers were ready to put a bow on the match in the third set. Aside from the score, which was TSU winning 25-9, UAPB was held to an attack percentage of -.086. For the match, even, the Blue and White held the Golden Lions to a total hitting percentage of -.031. That is TSU’s best defensive match of the season.
TSU will resume their conference schedule this weekend as they travel to Jacksonville State at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Tennessee Tech at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Follow the volleyball team on Twitter @tnstateVB.