|September 08, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
- 32||Assists||DI Maulo
KRUIZE - 1
RIVERA ORTIZ - 1
|September 08, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
- 11||Digs||RIVERA ORTIZ
NACODOCHES, Texas --- Tennessee State volleyball split day two at the SFA Invitational after a five-set push versus St. John’s, and a sweep over Grambling State.
Big Blue went 17-25, 12-25, 25-22, 25-20, 7-15 against St. John’s, and broke its six-match losing streak versus GSU going 25-22, 25-18, 25-11.
Julia Pierson summed 40 kills on 107 attempts, three service aces, 20 digs and nine total blocks earning her a spot on the All-Tournament team.
The Tigers are now 2-7 on the season.
TSU Tigers vs St. John’s Red Storm
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Three Tigers registered double-digit kills – Julia Pierson (16), Rachel Henderson (12), JoJo Kruize (10).
- Hinalei Fihaki added seven blocks to her stat line, summing 32 blocks on the season, assisting in half of the 14 team blocks.
- Laken Te’o spread the offense, pushing out 32 assists against St. John’s, while recording her fifth double-double of the season with 11 digs.
- Efrosini Alexakou and Jordan McCalla each put up double-doubles for the Redstorm, Alexakou with 10 kills and 11 digs, McCalla with 16 kills and 11 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Tigers won the coin toss and chose to serve first. Pierson took to the line and had the first service error of the night. She soon recouped that lost point when the Tigers were down by seven. Coach Sutton called a timeout, and TSU began to perform. Kruize, with her powerful jump serve put the pressure on the Red Storm backcourt posting the first TSU ace of the day. Pierson helped at middle with a mean swing and a solo block. Despite the comeback, errors and St. John’s consistency at the net helped them win set one, 25-17.
St. John’s gave no room for error, and with an error filled second set, the Red Storm easily won set two, 25-12.TSU picked up in set three and rejected six attempts from the Red Storm offense. JoJo Kruize recorded a solo block, while the remainder of the team combined for five more. Accuracy increased and the backcourt held its own with 14 digs. TSU held off St. John’s for one more set.
In set four, TSU couldn’t put the ball away before St. John’s went up 4-0. That was the last run the Red Storm had in the set. Tennessee State had 15 kills and a good showing at the service line. The team worked together to push for the win, reversing what occurred at the beginning of the set, going on a four-point run to win 25-20.
A late start hurt the Tigers in the final set. Going only to 15, St. John’s went up 8-4 hurting TSU’s chance to catch up after the switch. The Red Storm ended on a four and two-point run, winning with a set score of 15-7.
- In the first meeting between the teams, the Tigers are now 0-1 in the all-time series.
TSU Tigers vs. Grambling State Tigers
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- The Tigers hit for .300 on 47 kills and 110 attempts – the highest since MTSU October 2017.
- Big Blue registered 19 block assists and one solo from Pierson. Fihaki led the charge with 7.
- With a change in offensive strategy, Te’o split the assists with freshman setter Kristian Marshall, 27 and 14, respectively.
- TSU held Grambling to only 27 kills and .070 hitting percentage.
HOW IT HAPPENED
TSU won the coin toss and chose to serve. Te’o kicked it off for the blue and white. GSU took point one with a kill by its outside Chasity Nicks. Rachel Henderson followed with her own. The remainder of the set was back-and-forth with Tennessee State creating at most a three point lead, except when it was most important. TSU won set one, 25-22.
Tennessee State was 1-2 when winning the first set. Continuing its dominance on the court, Kristian Marshall came in and pushed out 6 assists, helping Big Blue post 16 kills on a .282 attack percentage. Grambling answered with only nine kills and struggled to stop TSU’s offense. Khalia Jordan, Rachel Henderson and Julia Pierson each had four kills to help TSU to a 25-18 set two win.
The last set flew by. TSU could not be stopped. The team registered a .480 hitting percentage, two aces, 11 digs and five and a half blocks to cruise to a win with a set score of 25-11.
- TSU improves the all-time series versus Grambling State to 2-0. The last meeting in 2015 was also a sweep.
- Kristian Marshall saw action in each set for the Tigers and produced. Marshall split time with starter Laken Te’o.
- The win over GSU broke a six-game losing streak for Big Blue.
TSU has a short turnaround as they head to Evansville, Indiana to play the Purple Aces Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.