By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team hits the road for its third non-conference tournament of the season, traveling south for the Chattanooga Classic running Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11.
The Golden Eagles will square off with in-state rival Chattanooga Friday in a 5:00 p.m. CT tilt that will be streamed on ESPN+. On Saturday, Tech continues play with a 9:00 a.m. match-up with Troy. The purple and gold wrap things up with a 4:00 p.m. contest against Virginia Tech.
Friday, Sept. 9 – Tech at Chattanooga, 5:00 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 4 – Tech vs. Troy, 9:00 a.m. | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 4 – Tech vs. Virginia Tech, 4:00 p.m. | Live Stats
The Golden Eagles finished 2-1 in the Golden Eagle Invitational last weekend, placing second in their annual home tournament with a 3-2 win over South Alabama and a 3-0 sweep over UNC Asheville. Tech's lone loss came in a five-set thriller to tournament champion Valparaiso.
Returning freshman Madolyn Isringhausen continued her hot start to the 2021 season, earning Golden Eagle Invitational honors while averaging 3.69 kills on an impressive .248 hitting percentage over three matches. The outside hitter posted her first career double-double with 16 kills and 16 digs in Tech's win over USA. She upped her game with a new career-high of 22 kills on a very solid .295 attack percentage in Tech's loss to Valpo and wrapped up the weekend with another double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs, as well as a career-best four service aces, against UNC Asheville.
Senior setter Ashley Hand was a distribution machine for the purple and gold over the weekend, garnering Golden Eagle Invitational honors while averaging 10.85 assists, 2.23 digs, and 0.69 blocks per set. In Tech's win over USA, she doled out 55 helpers, the second-highest total of her career, and 10 digs for her second double-double of the year. She matched her assists total in the loss to Valpo, with 55 more to go with 14 digs for another double-double. She finished the weekend with 31 assists, two kills, and five digs in Tech's sweep of UNC Asheville.
Libero McKenna Young continued to control the backline for the purple and gold, contributing 52 total digs and 4.00 digs per set over the weekend. She also tied with Isringhausen for the team lead with six service aces.
Middle blocker Taylor Dorsey was a wall for the Golden Eagles over the weekend, averaging 1.15 blocks per set. The junior tallied four block assists and a solo block in Tech's win over USA while also compiling a match-high 19 kills on a .452 hitting percentage. In Tech's narrow loss to Valpo, she registered six more block assists with nine kills. She rounded the three-match weekend with four more block assists, 11 kills, and a .400 attack percentage in a three-set win over UNCA.
Over the weekend, Dorsey moved into seventh place on Tech's all-time career charts for block assists, passing Pam Goldensoph with 249 so far in her career. She sits just nine total blocks from jumping into the top-10 career list. Hand sits just 66 assists away from accumulating 2,000 in her career and becoming just the 11th Golden Eagle to do so.
(2021 record: 3-4, 0-0 SoCon | Series Record: 28-10-1 | H: 13-1 | A: 8-6 | N: 4-2-1 | U: 3-1)
The Mocs enter the weekend after posting two wins at the Hampton Inn Invitational hosted by IUPUI. UTC took down the hosts in four sets before defeating Western Illinois in five sets the next day.
Middle/right side Maia Rackel was tabbed Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week. She posted 77 kills throughout four matches, averaging 4.53 kills per set and a .317 hitting percentage. The junior also recorded 12 blocks, 1.71 per set.
Paige Gallentine joined Rackel on the Hampton Inn Invitational All-Tournament team. Nearly recording 100 digs in the four contests, she tallied 94 with 5.53 digs/set. In UTC's five-set setback to Toledo, she tied a career-best with 33 digs.
Freshman blocker Marcelle Baez-Carlo led all players at the Hampton Inn Invitational with 25 blocks, averaging 1.47/set. The Puerto Rico native recorded 11 blocks, 10 block assists in UTC's contest vs. Toledo. Her 10 block assists were one shy of tying the program record.
(2021 record: 2-3, 0-0 Sun Belt | Series Record: 0-1 | H: 0-1 | A: 0-0 | N: 0-0)
The Trojans finished 1-2 last weekend, defeating Alabama, 3-1, for the first time since 1974 in the Crimson Tide Invitational. Troy fell to Southern Miss in a 3-1 match and to Buffalo in a close 3-2 decision.
Junior Amara Anderson was named the Sun Belt Setter of the Week after finishing with 147 assists over three matches and averaging 11.3 assists per set, the most of any player. Her 56 assists in the five-set match against Buffalo rank eighth all-time in Troy history. The Alpharetta, Ga., native leads the Sun Belt Conference with 211 assists and ranks 12th nationally with more than 11 assists per set.
Sophomore Julia Brooks led the Trojans in all three offensive categories over the weekend. In 13 sets played, Brooks totaled 48 kills, recorded 51.5 points, and charted a hitting percentage of .419. Brooks currently sits in third in the Sun Belt Conference with a .408 hitting percentage, and her 3.47 kills per set are good enough for fifth in the conference.
Senior Cheyenne Hayes became the fifth player in Trojan's program history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career over the weekend. She only needs 27 kills to become the all-time kill leader in the rally-scoring era in program history. Hayes is 224 kills away from becoming the all-time kill leader in Trojan history.
SCOUTING VIRGINIA TECH
(2021 record: 5-1, 0-0 ACC | Series Record: 1-1 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 1-1)
The Hokies head into this weekend's tournament after finishing 2-1 at the UNF Invitational, battling through a trio of five-set matches. Virginia Tech sandwiched a 3-2 loss to host North Florida with 3-2 victories over Georgia State and Davidson.
Fifteen different members of the Virginia Tech squad have seen action so far this season, including three freshmen. Four Hokies have seen the floor for every set so far which includes Angel Robinson, Marisa Cerchio, Mara Perry, and Logan Mosley. Fifth-year Cerchio leads the Hokies in points with 65.5. Not too far behind her is Robinson with 64 points.
Angel Robinson had a career-high day against Davidson, posting 15 kills and 19 points, both career-highs for the senior. Over the weekend, the middle blocker totaled 12 blocks and a .405 hitting percentage, a team-high.
The Hokies have used three different setters this season, with Perry, Talyn Jackson, and Brie Postema each working into the rotation. Perry currently leads the team in assists with 91 as she has played in all 27 sets this season. Jackson is the team leader in assists per set with 4.78, she has played in 18 sets and tallied 86 assists. Postema has played in 16 sets, registering 76 assists and 4.75 assists per set.
Tech will conclude tournament and non-conference action with a trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the Bama Bash Invitational. The event starts with a 2:00 p.m. CT tilt on Friday, Sept. 17 against Western Carolina. The Golden Eagles conclude things with a Saturday, Sept. 18 match at 1:00 p.m. against Houston and a 6:00 p.m. affair with host Alabama.
Photo by Jim Dillon