|November 06, 2015||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
GRAHAM - 1
HALTERMAN - 1
DODD - 2
CHASE - 6
COOKEVILLE, Tenn.- The Tennessee State volleyball team (13-12, 8-5 OVC) used a late comeback to push past Tennessee Tech (6-20, 4-9 OVC) for a 3-2 conference victory.
After dropping the first set 25-21, the Tigers came out in the second set to take an early 11-8 lead. Tech would tack on a few points of their own but kills from juniors Taylor Patterson and Chloe Watson would allow the Tigers to keep their lead. With a 16-14 set score, TSU would use a 5-1 run at the service of Watson to extend the lead 21-15. The Golden Eagles would attempt at a comeback with a 6-3 run of their own, but a final block from freshman Ayanna Chase would secure a 25-21 set win for the Tigers and tie the match 1-1.
Down by three in the third, the Tigers took a three-point run, highlighted by kills from the freshman duo Ayanna Chase and Zahria Graham and a block from senior Haley Hampton and Watson, to tie things up at 11. The Golden Eagles would change the momentum of the set with a 9-2 run to make the score 20-14. The Tigers would battle back with two kills from sophomore Alexis Johnson, a block and two kills from Graham to make the score 23-20. A 3-1 run by Tennessee State would cut the deficit to one, but a final kill from Tennessee Tech would put TSU down 2-1 in the match.
Multiple Tiger kills allowed TSU to jump out to an early 7-2 lead in the fourth. A five-point run at the service of Graham would allow the Tigers to extend their lead 12-5 before forcing Tennessee Tech into their first timeout of the set. Continued pressure from the Tiger offense would allow TSU to stay in the lead for the remainder of the set and secure a 25-19 win, forcing Tennessee Tech into a fifth set.
Things were tight in the fifth as the Tigers took a 8-6 lead before the switch. Golden Eagle errors would allow the Tigers to extend their lead 10-7 before calling their first timeout of the set. A three-point run from Tennessee Tech would tie things up at 10 before kills from Chase and Patterson would put the Tigers three points away from victory. Tennessee Tech would battle with kills of their own to tie things up at 12. The Tigers would use a kill from Patterson, a block by Chase and Watson and one final kill from Graham to push past the Golden Eagles to a 15-13 fifth-set win and a 3-2 match victory.
Four Tiger players hit in the double digits for the match. Haley Hampton led the team with a .444 attack percentage, tallying a team-high 16 kills and recording four blocks. Chloe Watson recorded her fifteenth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 15 digs. Watson also collected six digs on the night. Zahria Graham finished the match with 14 kills, five digs and three blocks, while Ayanna Chase notched 10 kills and six blocks.
Defensively, Madison Halterman led the Tigers in the back with a career-high 32 digs and sophomore Samantha Beltran dished out a team-high 53 assists.
As a team, the Tigers hit .220 on the day with 66 kills. TSU recorded 78 digs and 14 total blocks through five sets.
“We accomplished our goal and came out tonight doing what we needed to do,” said head coach Kathy Bullock. “Now we have to keep on pushing.”
The win over Tennessee Tech solidifies the Tiger’s spot in the OVC tournament as Tennessee State currently sits alone in fourth place with an 8-5 conference record.
The Tigers are back in action tomorrow as they travel to Jacksonville, Ala. to take on the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. The match is set for 2 p.m. CT and will be available to view on the OVC Digital Network.
For live in-game updates and news concerning TSU volleyball, follow @TnStateVB.