LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Tennessee State University volleyball team dropped their first two matches of the Active Ankle Challenge on Friday to No. 24 Louisville and Appalachian State.
The Tigers (0-5) fell in straight sets to the Cardinals (2-1) and Mountaineers (5-0) at Cardinal Arena. Sophomore Arijana Anderson led TSU with eight kills while senior Naomi Wels had eight digs in the first match. Freshman Samantha Beltran had 40 total assists and four service aces on the day to continue a good start to her freshman season.
“Our record isn’t a good indication of this team,” head coach Kathy Roulhac said. “We have gotten better each set, but the competition we are playing is stout. We use these tough opponents to help us learn and to prepare us for conference play.”
Anderson tallied a total of 16 kills in both matches to lead the Tigers while Wells combined for 14 kills. Sophomore Neisha Crockett, this her first two matches of action, fared well with five block assists and four kills. The Knoxville native was going up against her former school in Appalachian State.
“Neisha was huge,” coach Roulhac said. “She stepped in when we really needed her and impressed me quite a bit. I can’t say enough about her performance in a pinch today.”
TSU fought hard against a tough opponent in the Cardinals for match one. After dropping the first two sets, the Tigers led for much of the third set as senior Taylor Swayzer started finding all the holes in the Louisville defense. It wasn’t until a late timeout by U of L galvanized them to a strong run that ultimately ended in a match victory for the Cardinals.
Swayzer, a Houston, Texas native, totaled 10 kills on Friday. Her high flying athleticism has added another attacking threat to this Tigers’ team.
TSU will finish up at the Active Ankle Challenge on Saturday as they face the Bearcats of Cincinnati. Game time is set for 12:30 at Cardinal Arena. Live audio will be available and, as always, check out TSU volleyball on Twitter @tnstateVB for all your Tiger Volleyball news.