|November 14, 2015||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
BRADBURY - 2
BROWN - 2
SAALFRANK - 3
CHARLESTON, Ill.- The Tennessee State volleyball team (15-13, 10-6 OVC) finished its regular-season with a 3-1 victory over Eastern Illinois (16-14, 11-5 OVC) on Saturday.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 11-6 lead before forcing the Panthers into their first timeout of the set. Kills from Eastern Illinois would cut their deficit to two (11-9) but the Tigers would push back with a 5-1 run, highlighted by a service ace from sophomore Samantha Beltran and a block from junior Taylor Patterson and freshman Ayanna Chase, to extend their lead to six (16-10). Continued offensive pressure and solid defense would allow the Tigers to keep their lead but an 8-1 run by the Panthers would threaten that lead and put EIU just three points away from tying up the set (23-20). A Panther service error and one final kill from Chase would secure the Tigers’ first win of the day with a 25-22 set score.
With things tied at 13 in the second, the Panthers would use a 6-3 run to take a 19-16 lead over the Tigers. EIU would only allow TSU to score two more times before taking the set 25-18 for their first win of the match.
With the match tied at one, the Tigers took an early 10-2 lead in the third. The Panthers would eat away at the deficit with an 11-4 run to come within a point of the Tigers (14-13). The teams would battle back and forth, tying things up six times before back-to-back attack errors from EIU would secure a 25-23 wire-to-wire win and a 2-1 advantage in the match for the Tigers.
The fourth was a back-and-fourth affair with the Tigers leading 13-11 before EIU called their first timeout of the set. The Panthers would tie things up at 13 and again at 15 before a 6-1 run would give the Tigers a six-point advantage in the match (21-15). A Panther service error kills from junior Chloe Watson, senior Haley Hampton, and Ayanna Chase would push the Tigers past EIU with a 25-19 fifth-set score and a 3-1 match score.
The Tigers hit .190 on the day and had 10 total team blocks. Junior Chloe Watson led the Tigers, recording her seventeenth double-double of the season, with 13 kills and 14 digs. Taylor Patterson and Samantha Beltran also recorded double-doubles on the day. Patterson finished the day with 10 kills and 20 digs, while Beltran dished-out a team-high 46 assists and had 14 digs. Madison Halterman led the Tigers defensively with 22 digs through the four sets.
“That was a perfect ending to the regular season,” said head coach Kathy Bullock “We are peaking at the right time, which is great heading to the OVC tournament.”
The Tigers are back in action next week as they head to the Ohio Valley Conference Post-Season Tournament where they will face the number five seed Eastern Kentucky on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Live broadcast and stats for the event will be available.