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Tech wraps up Golden Eagle Invitational with sweep of UNC Asheville

Tech wraps up Golden Eagle Invitational with sweep of UNC Asheville

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tech. – After a pair of grueling, five-set matches on Friday, the Tennessee Tech volleyball team made quick work of its lone match Saturday afternoon, sweeping UNC Asheville in the final contest of the Golden Eagle Invitational, 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-17).

"We worked very hard all weekend," Tech head coach Jeanette Waldo expressed. "We fought through elongated sets and a couple of five-set matches yesterday, so it was nice to put it away in three today. We talked about just taking care of business and doing ourselves a favor in that regard. It was nice to see us execute in that way."

The Golden Eagles were efficient on the serve and put away kills when they mattered in Saturday's tilt, leading to the team's first 3-0 sweep of the 2021 campaign. Tech turned in 13 service aces on the day, the team's highest output since producing 14 in a three-set win over Eastern Kentucky back in February during the 2020-21 season.

The purple and gold got stronger and stronger on the attack as the match went on, hitting .108 with 10 kills in the first set, only to rack up 12 with a .192 attack percentage in the second. Tech was dominant in the third set, attacking at a .263 clip with 17 kills to put things away for good.

"We talked about how we have to do a better job of controlling what we can control," Waldo said. "We talked about that a lot in practice this week, about really going for it. We just needed to reign it in a little bit from Friday. If you just put a solid ball where we need it to go, good things can happen. Execution with that today was big."

There were a number of nice showings across the board for the Golden Eagles individually in the win, starting with junior middle blocker Taylor Dorsey. The Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selection registered a match-high 11 kills with a .400 attack percentage and four blocks. For the weekend, she totaled 39 kills on a .357 percentage with 15 total blocks.

Outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen continued her breakout returning freshman campaign, collecting her second career double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. The youngster collected All-Tournament honors for the second time this season after racking up a whopping 48 kills and 33 digs on an impressive .248 hitting percentage.

Also named to the All-Tournament Team following a monster weekend was setter Ashley Hand, who doled out 141 assists in 13 sets for a 10.85 per set mark. She also chipped in 29 digs and nine blocks. In the Saturday win, the senior tallied 31 helpers with five digs and a pair of kills.

Redshirt sophomore Madeline Furtado produced a strong showing against the Bulldogs with nine kills while returning freshman libero McKenna Young compiled match-highs of 11 digs and a career-best five service aces. Furtado finished the weekend with 30 total kills while Young put forth 52 digs overall in the three matches.  

"Today was nice because our offense was really spread out," Waldo explained. "Today we had a better opportunity to get a lot of people involved, which just makes everything else easier."

The purple and gold return to the road for the Chattanooga Classic next weekend, starting with a Friday, Sept. 10 match at Chattanooga at 5:00 p.m. CT. Tech will square off with Troy at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 and conclude the event with a 3:00 p.m. match-up against Virginia Tech.

Photo by Christian Murphy

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