November 19, 20151st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
Eastern Kentucky1425212792
EKUTeam StatsTSU
.068Hitting Pct..107
176Total Attacks169
VICK - 14
KillsWATSON - 13
AssistsBELTRAN - 39
AcesWATSON - 4
VICK - 11
BlocksHAMPTON - 6
Third Time's a Charm: Tigers Push Past Colonels in First Round of OVC Tournament
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Third Time's a Charm: Tigers Push Past Colonels in First Round of OVC Tournament

MURRAY, Ky.- The Tennessee State volleyball team went head-to-head in a five-set match against Eastern Kentucky in the first round of the OVC Championship Tournament on Thursday. For the first time this season, the Tigers emerged victorious against the Colonels with the set scores of 25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 25-27 and 15-9.

Tennessee State jumped out to an early 8-3 in the first after a five-point run at the service of senior Madison Halterman. The Tigers would continue to tack on points to extend their lead 16-9 before forcing EKU into their second timeout of the set. A 6-3 run highlighted by blocks from senior Haley Hampton, junior Chloe Watson and sophomore Samantha Beltran would put the TSU at set point and a service error from EKU would give the Tigers their first win of the set, 25-14.

With things tied at 10 in the second, the Colonels would use a 7-1 run to take a 17-11 lead in the second. The Tigers would battle back with a 8-3 run of their own to cut their deficit to one, 19-18. TSU would be unable to make a comeback, as EKU’s offensive efforts would allow the Colonels to take the set 25-22 to tie the match at one. 

The Tigers took an 11-7 lead before forcing Eastern Kentucky into their first timeout of the set. The Colonels would eat away at the deficit with a 5-2 run to make the score 13-12. Colonel errors would allow the Tigers to keep their lead and extend it to 16 but EKU would attempt to tie things up with a four-one run to come within a point of the Tigers (17-16). A four-point run at the service of junior Puamana Danielson would extend the Tiger lead to 21 and kills from Watson, Hampton and junior Taylor Patterson would push the Tigers past the Colonels for a 25-21 third-set win. 

Attack errors by the Tigers early in the fourth would allow the Colonels to take an 8-2 lead before TSU called their first timeout of the set. An 8-3 run would allow the Tigers to cut their deficit to one and make the score 11-10. A run from the Colonels would put EKU up by five with a 20-15 score. The Tigers would use an 8-2 run to take their first lead of the set, 23-22. The teams would battle back and fourth but a three-point run would give the Colonels a 27-25 fourth-set victory and force the Tigers into a fifth set.

The Colonels would take an early 5-3 lead before a 5-1 run would give the Tigers an 8-6 lead before the switch. TSU would keep the pressure on; extending their lead to 12 with a 3-1 run highlighted by a kill from freshman Ayanna Chase and a service ace from Hampton. Two Colonel errors and a final kill from freshman Ayanna Chase would seal a 15-9 fifth-set win and a 3-2 match victory.

Junior Chloe Watson led the Tigers offensively for the match, recording her 18th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 15 digs. The outside hitter also recorded a team-high four service aces. Junior Taylor Patterson and Samantha Beltran also recorded double-doubles.  Patterson recorded her fourth of the year with 10 kills and 16 digs, while Beltran recorded her 10th of the year, dishing out 39 assists and tallying 13 digs through five sets. 

Senior Madison Halterman led the team defensively, recording a team-high 18 digs. 

The Tigers are back in action tomorrow as they advance to the semifinals of the OVC Championship. Tennessee State will face #1 Murray State or #8 Southeast Missouri tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Murray, Ky.