By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Tennessee Tech volleyball bounced back against the SIUE Cougars, earning a 3-1 victory and ending their five-straight conference win streak on Saturday at the First Community Arena at the Vadalabene Center.
"We are so proud of how our team bounced back after a marathon match last night," expressed head coach Jeannette Waldo. "It says a lot about our team that we were able to refocus so quickly and show up the way we did against a talented team."
Junior Ali Verzani led the Golden Eagles offensively with 16 kills, while adding 10 digs to notch her 11th double-double of the season. Sophomore Taylor Dorsey joined Verzani with double-digit kills, tallying 11 in the contest, while sophomore Ashley Hand dished out a match-high 37 assists. Defensively, Dorsey earned a match-high seven blocks in the contest and freshman Carly Skrabak anchored the Golden Eagle's back row as she recorded 14 digs against the Cougars.
The Cougars took the early advantage in the opening set, leading by as much as six, 14-8, and continued to lead until the Golden Eagles finally evened the set at 22. Tech would tally a pair of kills from Morgan Gish and Rachel Thomas and a service ace to outscore the Cougars 3-1 to take the 1-0 lead.
SIUE opened the second frame on a 14-7 run. The Cougars maintained their lead and eventually extended their lead to nine before closing out the set and evening up the match 1-1, 25-16.
Tech responded big in the third set as they scored six-unanswered points to take a 6-0 lead to open the set. Tech would eventually extend their lead to eight, 9-1, before SIU rallied to bring the set within three, 10-7. Tech kept the Cougars at bay to hold an 18-14 lead and continued to keep their distance as they eventually close the set 25-22 to take back the lead, 2-1.
The Golden Eagles kept the momentum into the fourth set as they took a 6-3 lead to open the frame. SIUE battled back to eventually even the set at nine. The Cougars would take a four-point lead and maintain it through 17-13. Tech locked in to eventually bring things even at 21 following a block assist from Dorsey and Verzani. The Golden Eagles continued to outscore the Cougars 4-2 to seal the set 25-23 and claim the 3-1 win.
The Golden Eagles return home next weekend as they host Austin Peay on Friday, October 25 and Murray State on Saturday, October 26.
Photo by Jim Dillon