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Tech falls in pair of 4-1 bouts on day one of final OVC weekend

Tech falls in pair of 4-1 bouts on day one of final OVC weekend

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

MARTIN, Tenn. – It was a tough day on the sand, albeit one with a few highlights, as the Tennessee Tech beach volleyball team fell in a pair of duals at the second Ohio Valley Conference weekend of action, competing at the Skyhawk Beach Volleyball Complex in Martin, Tenn.

The Golden Eagles (6-12, 2-6) were upended by Lindenwood (12-6, 5-3) by a score of 4-1 in the opening match of the day. Tech then took on in-state rival Chattanooga (14-9, 7-1), again dropping a 4-1 decision.

There were a number of close calls throughout the tilt with Lindenwood, with three match-ups requiring three sets to determine a winner. After falling 21-16 in the opener, the No. 4 pairing of Jazmine Yamilkoski and Katie DiRaimondo flipped the script for a 21-16 win of their own. The Lions ultimately took the point with a 15-10 victory in the third set.

Things were even close in the No. 5 dual, as Tech's team of Ava Schubert and McKenna Young avenged a 21-15 defeat in set one by eking out a 21-19 victory in the second game. In the end, Lindenwood pulled out a 17-15 decision to take the match-up.

The Cookeville crew turned to the No. 3 pairing of Brooke Amann and Aleeya Jones to keep the match alive, and the duo delivered. The two fell in the first set, 21-17, but turned things around in the set two to edge the Lions, 21-19. The Tech dance partners picked up the lone point for the purple and gold, securing a 15-10 win in the third set.

 "Today was a frustrating day because, as a team, we left points on the table and it cost us the dual against Lindenwood," Tech head coach Zach Weinberg expressed. "Lindenwood is a good team and very improved, so not taking advantage of opportunities when they were present can – and did – cost us. Brooke and Aleeya had a bright spot with a nice comeback win in their match, something that duo desperately needed. It was great to see them improve their game to get the win."

In the second tilt of the day, the Mocs built a quick 2-0 lead and clinched the win after eking out back-to-back set wins of 21-18 in the No. 2 position over Tech's comb of MK Roberts and Skylar Boom. Refusing to go down without a fight, the Golden Eagles continued to battle.

Securing the purple and gold's only win of the second match, the No. 1 team of Bella Powell and Madolyn Isringhausen locked down a massive victory over the league's reigning Player of the Year, Neva Clark, and her teammate, Corina Vale.

Tech's combo outlasted the Lions' side in the opening set, boasting a 23-21 victory. Powell and Isringhausen won another barn burner to take home the point for the Golden Eagles, sneaking past the Mocs, 21-19.

Amann and Jones nearly made it a two-point match for the purple and gold, capturing the opening set at the No. 3 pairing, 21-17. Lindenwood bounced back, however, earning wins of 21-18 and 15-6 to produce the final score of 4-1.

"Against UTC, I thought we responded better as a team but ultimately just didn't have enough against one of the top teams in the league," Weinberg explained. "Maddie and Bella winning in the 1's was a huge bright spot though, and probably the best single-match win in our program's history given the accolades of the team on the other side of the net. They played their most comprehensive match of their careers and earned every bit of that win."

On Saturday, Tech will square off with weekend host UT Martin with a 12:00 p.m. CT match-up that will be live-streamed on ESPN+. The Golden Eagles conclude the action at 4:00 p.m., taking on Eastern Illinois in the final bout of the regular season.

"Tomorrow doesn't get any easier, so we need to respond positively and finish the regular season strong," Weinberg said. "We have two duals left before everyone is 0-0 and playing for a championship, so I look forward to us putting our foot down and taking as much momentum into the OVC Championship as we can."

Photo by UT Martin Athletics

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