November 15, 20181st2nd3rdFinal
Tennessee State1518140
Austin Peay2525253
.080Hitting Pct..290
113Total Attacks100
KillsTAFF - 11
TE'O - 30
AssistsSTUCKER - 29
DigsGABLE - 11
GERIG - 11
BlocksTAFF - 4
Volleyball Opens OVC Tournament Action Thursday versus Austin Peay
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Volleyball Opens OVC Tournament Action Thursday versus Austin Peay

OVC Tournament Bracket | OVC Championship Central

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament - Round One
Tennessee State (9-18, 7-9 OVC) at Austin Peay (25-4, 14-2 OVC)
Date: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018
Location: Clarksville, Tenn.
Arena: Winfield Dunn Center
Time:  7 p.m. CDT
Live StatsStatbroadcast
Watch Live:  ESPN3
Notes: TSU | APSU
Social Media Updates:  Twitter | #BigBlueRising

QUICK HITTER: The Tennessee State volleyball team heads to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament for the first time under head coach Donika Sutton, for a match against tournament host, Austin Peay, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: Last week in volleyball, the Tigers closed its regular season on the road, at Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky. 

Big Blue opened the week with a 3-1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-13, 25-23) loss to the Eagles in Wetherby Gym. Two Tigers registered double-digit kills: Julia Pierson 11 and Rachel Henderson 11. Both teams summed eight blocks on the night. Aria Holmes led the Tigers in blocks for the sixth match in-a-row with six. Three Tigers notched double-digit digs, led by freshman libero Rivera Ortiz 21, freshman Micahlea Njie 12 and Julia Pierson adding 11, notching her 12th double-double of the season.

With a quick turnaround to Richmond, Kentucky, the Tigers were determined to break its five-match losing streak against the Colonels, who TSU swept earlier in the season. Tennessee State volleyball closed the night with its first five-set win of the year. Big Blue had struggled when going to five-sets, holding a record of 0-7 when doing so. TSU registered a season-high 16 team blocks, as opposed to EKU’s three. Junior Hinalei Fihaki posted a season-high 11 block assists, followed closely by Rachel Henderson who tied for her season-high eight. The Ft. Worth, Texas native has racked up 108 blocks over the season. Both of TSU’s offensive leaders, Julia Pierson and Henderson registered double-doubles, assisting the Tigers on both sides of the ball. Pierson finished with 24 kills and 16 digs, while Henderson closed out the regular season with 10 kills and 12 digs. Laekn Te’o, the setter behind the offensive success, also finished with her fifteenth double-double, 45 assists and 10 digs. Five Tigers posted double-digit digs, led by libero Gina Rivera Ortiz 27, Pierson 16, Micahlea Njie 13, Henderson 12 and Te’o 10. 

SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY: The Governors are fighting to be the back-to-back OVC Tournament Champions. APSU has clinched the regular season title two years in-a-row. The team is 10-0 at home with obvious team-leader Kristen Stucker maneuvering the team through 25 total wins on the season. The senior setter has notched 21 OVC Setter of the Week awards through her career as a Gov. The red and white has a spread offense with two hitters averaging 3.0+ kills per set, while another two are averaging 2.0+ per set. The lone conference losses for APSU were served from Belmont and Murray State.  

UP NEXT: Big Blue has the chance to advance to the semifinals of the OVC Tournament where it will face No. 4 Jacksonville State or No. 5 SIUE, Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m.