Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University volleyball team won its second straight match as the Tigers defeated SIU Edwardsville, 3-2 in the home opener Friday night in Kean Hall.
Tennessee State improved to 6-4 (2-1 OVC) while SIU Edwardsville fell to 6-9 (1-3 OVC). The set scores were 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 17-25 and 15-11.
Jilia Whitfield was the only SIUE player to reach double digits in kills with 10 and Chelsea Conclasure led the Cougars with 22 digs.
From the beginning, the opening set was a battle that featured high energy from both teams. The score stayed close as neither team was able pull away. TSU was trailing, 20-19, when SIUE posted consecutive points to go ahead 22-19. TSU used a timeout and narrowed the gap to, 23-21. But SIUE went on to win, 25-21.
The visitors carried the momentum early in the second set jumping out to a 5-1 advantage. The Tigers battled back and knotted the score at 11-all before taking the lead on a block by Miaje Hubbard. Shaquita Williams followed with a kill to make TSU's lead 13-11. The Cougars managed to pull even, 16-16, but TSU used a short run to regain the lead and claim the 25-22 win.
Tennessee State fell behind, 10-6, in the third frame. The Tigers were able to cut the deficit down to two points but the Cougars built the lead back up to, 15-10. TSU narrowed the gap once again but SIUE held the Tigers off and claimed the set, 25-20.
In the fourth set, the teams played to an 11-11 deadlock before TSU fired off four straight points to go ahead, 15-11. SIUE used a timeout in an attempt to recover but TSU continued to roll and extended the lead to 17-11. The Tigers went on to win 25-17, forcing a fifth set.
The deciding set saw TSU get out to a 7-3 lead following a kill from Shaquita Williams. The Tigers controlled the tempo the entire frame and cruised to the 15-11 win.
As a team, TSU tallied 75 kills (.262) compared to the Cougars' 51. The Tigers also held the advantage in digs, 85-79, and assists, 71-50.
The Tigers return to action tomorrow when they face Eastern Illinois. Match time is slated for 2 p.m. in Kean Hall.