MARTIN, Tenn. – Junior Ali Verzani led Tennessee Tech volleyball with a match-high 18 kills and tied for a match-high 13 digs to tally her 14th double-double of the season, but the Golden Eagles could not rally and fell 3-1 to the UT Martin Skyhawks on Saturday at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.
In addition to her 18 kills and 13 digs, Verzani also added a pair of services aces and an assist. Sophomore Ashley Hand recorded a team-high 37 assists. Senior Rachel Thomas and sophomore Taylor Dorsey both recorded a solo block and a block-assist to lead the team with two blocks apiece against the Skyhawks.
The Golden Eagles opened the contest on a 5-0 run with kills from Verzani and Thomas, in addition to three Skyhawk errors to take the early lead. However, the Skyhawks responded on a 9-4 run to eventually even up the match at nine. A pair of kills from Thomas and Hand would spark a Golden Eagle run as Tech scored four-straight to retake the lead 13-9. The Skyhawks would bring the set back down to three, 17-14, but a 3-0 Tech run would push the Golden Eagles lead back to six, 20-14. The Skyhawks would attempt to rally as they outscored the Golden Eagles 6-5 to close out the set, but Tech's lead proved to be too much as the Golden Eagles claimed the 1-0 lead, 25-20.
The second set opened to a 3-3 tie before the Skyhawks would score three-straight to retake the lead, 6-3. UT Martin continued to lead by three 10-7, before going on a 15-8 run to close out the second set and even the match at one, 25-15.
The Skyhawks took the early lead in the third as they outscored the Golden Eagles 9-2 to open the set and make Tech call its first timeout of the frame. Tech came out of the timeout on fire as a Verzani kill sparked a 5-0 Tech run to bring the deficit to two, 9-7. Tech kept the set within three, 13-10, but the Skyhawks would go on to outscore the Golden Eagles 12-2 through the end of the third to take the 2-1 match lead, 25-15.
Tech and UT Martin battled through 10 ties en route to a 13-13 standstill in the fourth set. The Skyhawks proved to be too much though as they would limit Tech to only three more points as they scored 12 to close the match and take the 3-1 victory, 25-16.
The Golden Eagles will depart on their final regular-season road trip of the year next weekend as they travel to Morehead State on Friday, November 8 and Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, November 9.