NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After splitting their first two conference matches, the Tennessee State University volleyball team is set to host crosstown, Ohio Valley Conference rival Belmont on Tuesday evening at Kean Hall.
The Tigers (6-10 , 1-1 OVC) and the Bruins (5-10, 1-1 OVC) have both beaten Morehead State while both have also lost to Eastern Kentucky to begin conference play. Belmont holds an advantage in the overall series with an 18-7 record against TSU.
The Blue and White are coming off of a rollercoaster first weekend of conference play. Before dropping the match to EKU in four sets on Saturday, the Tigers made a dramatic comeback against the Eagles on Friday. Down 0-2 heading into the third set, TSU rallied to win the third 32-30, the fourth set 27-25, and then finished off the win with a 15-12 victory in the fifth, and final, frame.
Senior Taylor Swayzer led the attack over the weekend with 34 kills, 20 of them coming against Eastern Kentucky, while also grabbing six blocks. Senior Naomi Wells had a double-double in both matches as she notched 13 kills and 13 digs in the win over Morehead State while getting 16 kills and 10 digs against the Colonels. She now has eight double-doubles on the year.
Belmont’s season has gone much like TSU’s to this point in the season. After dropping five of their first six matches, the Bruins rattled off three victories out of the next five. Their win on Saturday over Morehead State, however, is their first win in four matches.
Leading the Bruins on offense is Arianna Person. Her 188.5 points and 2.96 kills per set along with 11 solo blocks lead Belmont so far this season. Two other players have over 100 kills for the Bruins as Scarlet Gable (127) and Jocelyn Youngdahl (113) add depth to their attack. Youngdahl is their most efficient scorer with a .232 attack percentage.
Defensively, Belmont has three players who have racked up over 150 digs. Person (154 digs) and Gable (151 digs) provide a lot of value to Belmont’s lineup because they can stay in no matter their spot in the rotation. Leading the team in digs, though, is their Libero, Ellie Ivancich, who has 197 digs thus far in 2014. Blocking is also a key part of their defense with 107 total team blocks. Alex Martin (42) and Youngdahl (32) lead the team in block assists.
The crosstown rivals will begin the match at 6:00 p.m. at Kean Hall this Tuesday. Fans are encouraged to wear their white TSU shirts as this game will be a white-out!
Follow the Tigers on Twitter @tnstateVB.