By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Tennessee Tech volleyball's comeback bid came up slightly short on Thursday as the Golden Eagles fell in a four-set affair against No. 2-seed Southeast Missouri, 3-1, at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Sophomore Taylor Dorsey was a dominant force for the Golden Eagles on Thursday as she tallied a match-high 17 points and hitting .353 through the four sets. Dorsey also led the Golden Eagles in blocks with three, two of which were solo. Junior Ali Verzani joined her in double-digits with 13 kills in the contest, in addition to tallying a match-high 20 digs to earn her 17th double-double of the season. Sophomore Ashley Hand dished out a match-high 50 assists, while freshman Carly Skrabak led Tech with a match-high 20 digs in the contest.
Southeast Missouri opened the contest with a pair kills, before the Golden Eagles capitalized on a SEMO service error to cut the lead to one, 2-1. The Redhawks would tally four unanswered to take a 6-1 lead. The Golden Eagles would diminish the deficit back to four following a Dallas Oatis kill, 8-4, but the Redhawks would outscore the Golden Eagles 3-2 to spark a Tech timeout with a five-point difference, 11-6. The Redhawks would score three-straight points to extend their lead to 14-6. Tech battled point-for-point with SEMO to bring things to 10-17. However, the Redhawks would outscore the Golden Eagles 8-1 through the end of the set to take the opening frame, 25-11.
The Golden Eagles claimed the first point of the second frame to take their first lead of the match, before the Redhawks would even things at one. Tech would go on a 6-3 run capped by a Hand kill to hold a three-point advantage over the Redhawks, 7-4. SEMO would respond to bring the advantage down to one, 10-9, before the Golden Eagles went on a 4-0 run to take a five-point lead over the Redhawks, 14-9. SEMO would respond with three of their own to cut the deficit back to two, 14-12. The two squads would then battle point-for-point to bring the set to an 18-16 Golden Eagle advantage. Tech would overpower the Redhawks through the end of the second set on a 7-5 run to even the match at one apiece, 25-21.
Tech continued the momentum into the third set on a 4-1 run to take the early lead. SEMO would respond on an 8-2 run to even the match at five before taking the 9-6 lead. Kills from Hand and Skylar Boom would bring Tech back within one, 9-8, before the Redhawks would score five unanswered to extend the lead to six, 14-8. Tech and SEMO would both tally a pair of points to bring things to 16-9. SEMO scored four-straight to take a 10-point lead, 20-10. Tech would outscore the Redhawks 8-5 through the remainder of the set, but Southeast Missouri would take the 2-1 lead, 25-18.
The fourth set opened on a 3-1 Tech lead before the Redhawks would even things at five. The set remained even through a 9-9 tie before the Redhawks would outscore Tech 8-4 to take a 17-13 lead. The Golden Eagles responded with a 5-1 run to knot the set up at 18. The Golden Eagles battled through a pair of ties to a 22-22 score. The Redhawks claimed two-straight to hold set points, 24-22. Tech would respond with a pair of kills from Dorsey and Boom to even the match at 24-24. The two squads traded points through a 26-26 tie until the Redhawks took advantage of a pair of Tech errors to claim the four-set victory, 28-26.
The Golden Eagles' season closes with an overall record of 13-17, while the Southeast Missouri Redhawks move to 21-10.
Photo by Thomas Corhern