|October 19, 2018||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
KRUIZE - 8
MARTIN, Tenn. --- Setter Laken Te’o recorded her 12th double-double of the season, while helping the Tigers post a .203 hitting clip in the five-set loss to UT Martin (25-21, 25-18, 24-26, 23-25, 15-11) Friday evening in the Skyhawk Fieldhouse.
The Tigers drop to 7-13, 5-4 on the season, while UT Martin improves to 10-12, 4-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Rachel Henderson tied with JoJo Kruize for the match-high eight blocks, surpassing 75 on the season. Henderson is just another eight away from last season’s team-high 87.
- Julia Pierson finished with a team-high 15 kills, adding 15 digs, marking her 8th double-double of the season.
- Te’o recorded her 12th double-double of the season with 38 assists and 16 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
UT Martin took hold of the lead early, and with an even-keeled effort by both sides, the Tigers struggled to pull ahead. The Skyhawks’ spread offense kept TSU on its toes as an unpredictable front row put down 15 kills. A late four-point Tiger run helped to tie the score at 18, and take the first lead of the set. JoJo Kruize pushed a ball to the center of the court for a kill, followed closely by a Rachel Henderson and Julia Pierson block. UTM quickly answered with three aces to pull ahead and finish off the set, 25-21.
Big Blue’s hitting accuracy took a hit in the second set dropping below the .100 mark before reaching 10 team points. The lack of offensive press helped UT Martin increase its lead over the Tigers to six. The Skyhawks had 15 kills on 32 attempts earning a .344 clip as a team, and combined for two blocks. UTM eased its way through set two taking it, 25-18.
Alternating between points, TSU and UTM found themselves tied at five. UT Martin began to pull away, going on a small run, then a large run, putting the Tigers down 15-10. Big Blue began to close the gap with consistent offensive pushes across the front line. Henderson, Fihaki, Pierson and Kruize each connected with Te’o for kills. What pushed TSU to a third-set victory, helping them hold on through another set was the five total blocks registered by Henderson and Kruize. Defense won the set for TSU, 26-24.
Momentum from the third set carried into the fourth with TSU starting on a 3-0 run. The Tigers continued to attack the back row. Through 12 tied scores, Big Blue never lost hold of the lead, until the Skyhawks’ Hannah Phillips put down her 16th kill of the night. A Tennessee State timeout kicked off a two-point run to put the Tigers back on top. Pierson finished off the set with two kills, 25-23.
The final set was a point-for-point push between the teams. UTM’s Gintare Mackeviciute and Hannah Phillips each put down three, while Julia Pierson and Laken Te’o connected for the same. The Skyhawks’ defense held out, finishing the set with a match-high 21 digs and three blocks, ultimately leading them to victory, 15-11.
- The Skyhawks improve to 36-14 in all-time series over the Tigers.
Big Blue closes the weekend at Southeast Missouri with a 5 p.m. match in the Houck Field House Saturday, Oct. 20.