|September 02, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
ROBERTS - 13
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State volleyball team beat the Florida International Panthers 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-22) in the final match of the 2017 Tiger Invitational tournament in Kean Hall. This is the first tournament the Tigers have gone undefeated under new Head Coach Donika Sutton.
Tiger Samantha Beltran recorded two double-doubles to win Tiger Invitational MVP, and sophomore Preseason All-OVC pick Julia Pierson was named to the All-Tournament team.
Katora Roberts set a new career-high in kills recording 13 against Florida International.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Senior setter Sam Beltran recorded her second double-double of the season with 45 sets and 13 digs, earning her All-Tournament Most Valuable Player.
- Senior middle blocker Katora Roberts put down 13 kills, surpassing her previous career-high 12.
- Julia Pierson was named to the All-Tournament team after recording 13.5 points off of 13 kills, 9 digs, and an assist.
SET BY SET
First Set: The Panthers took the first point in set one and never let the Tigers take more than a one-point lead. Kylie Hayes and Curstyn Wilson recorded two of the set’s five aces. Senior outside hitter Alexis Johnson helped keep TSU in the running by scoring 4 kills in the last half of the set. Despite the Tigers effort, TSU fell to FIU 23-25 in set one.
Second Set: The Tigers came back with a vengeance in set two, blocking four big attacks up at the net, Rachel Henderson recording two solo. Tigers take set two 25-16.
Third Set: Katora Roberts put down six kills and one block during the third set earning her the highest hitting percentage for the Tigers. Tigers go into extra points taking set three 26-24.
Fourth Set:. Kean Hall moved out of Nashville and into Block City for the match against FIU as the last point of the Tiger Invitational was made by a block from Rachel Henderson and Katora Roberts as they were defending an attack by match leader in kills, Margherita Bianchin. Maya Evans came up big for the Tigers as she put down four kills, a dig and a block in the fourth and final set. Tigers take the set 25-22.
- Tigers Sam Beltran was named the Tiger Invitational Most Valuable Player.
- Julia Pierson was named to the Tiger Invitational All-Tournament team.
- Tigers swept their first tournament hosted at Kean Hall 3-0.
- The Tigers are now 1-0 in the all-time series against Florida International.
*Samantha Beltran S 5-11 SR Mississauga, Ontario/Streetsville Secondary
Julia Pierson OH 6-0 SO Rowlett, Texas/Wylie East HS
Taija Thomas OH/RS 6-0 SR Scarborough, Ontario, Canada/Jackson State University
Kaitlyn Grice MH 6-2 JR Valrico, Fl./Bloomingdale Senior
Fiapaipai Iosia DS/L 5-7 FR Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly
HEAD COACH DONIKA SUTTON
“It’s pretty amazing. I didn’t expect for us to come in here and sweep the tournament. I’m happy to win. It’s pretty amazing.”
- On sweeping the tournament
“I liked that we played together. We made adjustments when we needed to make adjustments. They definitely took the information and applied it, and we won as a team. It wasn’t any one player individually. It was the entire team out there for every point.”
- On what she liked about her team’s play
“We had all different types of competition – from Conference USA to the SWAC to the Southland. I feel like just having the different levels gave us a lot of exposure and it also gave us a chance to see exactly where we are with everybody else. It has definitely built up our confidence, and it has built up our morale heading to Alabama.”
- On the competition at the tournament
“With our sport, women head coaches are becoming the minority. Just to be able to have four African-American Division I head coaches here this weekend, it’s something that I’m definitely proud of. When we booked all of the teams, I thought about it, but to have them here in the gym, it made the moment feel that much sweeter. In the future I would definitely love to have all of them back. They were amazing teams and coaches, and I feel like we all enjoyed the tournament.”
- On having four female African-American coaches at the tournament
TSU travels to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Sept. 8-9 for the Hampton Inn Bama Bash to take on the Crimson Tide, Furman and Hofstra.