By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team wraps up its non-conference slate this weekend, making the trip south to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for Alabama's Bama Bash Invitational. The two-day event will kick off Friday, Sept. 17 and run through Saturday, Sept. 18.
The purple and gold begins play with a 2:00 p.m. CT match-up with Western Carolina on Friday. A 1:00 p.m. tilt with Houston is set for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, the first between the two programs in school history. Tech rounds things out with a 6:00 p.m. affair against the Crimson Tide.
Friday, Sept. 17 – Tech vs. Western Carolina, 2:00 p.m. | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 18 – Tech vs. Houston, 1:00 p.m. | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 18 – Tech at Alabama, 6:00 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
The Golden Eagles turned in another 2-1 showing over the weekend at the Chattanooga Classic, earning 3-0 sweeps over the host Mocs and Troy. Following a sweep over UNC Asheville in the finale of the Golden Invitational the week prior, it marked the first time Tech delivered three straight sweeps since the 2008 season.
Taylor Dorsey turned in a big weekend while earning All-Tournament honors at the Chattanooga Classic, leading Tech with 25 kills and a robust, .426 attack percentage. The junior middle blocker also tallied nine total blocks and five service aces. Dorsey was dominant in the 3-0 win over Chattanooga, hitting .615 with eight kills and no errors, dialing up a career-high four aces and four assists, and accounting for four total blocks. She turned in 10 kills three blocks and an ace with a .500 hitting percentage in Tech's sweep over Troy.
Dorsey moved up to sixth on the program's career charts for blocks assists and 10th on the all-time total blocks list.
Skylar Boom was more than effective at the net for the Golden Eagles, tallying 10 total blocks in seven sets over the weekend. She compiled seven block assists and three solo blocks while also accounting for 11 kills in three matches. The sophomore turned in a huge match against Troy, ratcheting seven kills on a .400 attack percentage while going off for eight total blocks, including three solo, in the 3-0 win. She added two more blocks against Virginia Tech.
Setter Ashley Hand was highly effective for the Golden Eagles over the week, particularly in the team's two victories, totaling 60 assists for a 10.00 average per set in the two sweeps. She also tallied six kills between the two matches and turned in 12 digs against Chattanooga, accounting for a double-double. She passed 2,000 assists for her career against Virginia Tech, becoming just the 11th Golden Eagle to accomplish the feat.
Middle blocker Dallas Oatis also collected Chattanooga Classic All-Tournament honors after turning in a remarkable showing against the Mocs in the opener. The sophomore delivered nine kills on a .474 attack percentage and added in three total blocks.
SCOUTING WESTERN CAROLINA
(2021 record: 3-5, 0-0 SoCon | Series Record: 9-4 | H: 3-0 | A: 3-3 | N: 4-2)
The Catamounts sit at 3-5 on the year, dropping their first three matches of the season before turning in three consecutive victories. WCU claimed a 3-2 win over Western Illinois to open last weekend's action, but fell in back-to-back tilts against New Mexico State (3-0) and Eastern Kentucky (3-1).
Sophomore Destinee Dorsey, the reigning Southern Conference Libero of the Year, was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon. The Mobile, Ala. native recorded 58 total digs in three matches at the Colonel Challenge including a match-best 28 in a 3-2 win over Western Illinois. Dorsey currently leads the SoCon with 5.13 digs per set.
Dorsey, along with senior setter Sydney Carlson (Birmingham) and junior middle blocker Johnna Robinson (Calera) represent three Alabama natives on the 2021 WCU volleyball roster.
Senior outside hitter Merry Gebel logged her fourth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 10 digs, but the Catamounts dropped a 3-1 decision to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon in the final match of the 2021 Colonel Challenge.
(2021 record: 8-1, 0-0 AAC | Series Record: 0-0 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 0-0)
With an 8-1 record, the 2021 Cougars have enjoyed the third-best start in program history after nine matches under head coach David Rehr. Only the 1975 and 1976 teams started undefeated in a similar time span.
Sophomore libero Kate Georgiades continues to lead the Cougars and rank fifth in the American Athletic Conference with 4.5 digs per set. The College Station, Texas, native led Houston with 54 dig, including 23 in the finale against Albany, to be named to the All-Tournament Team.
Georgiades also was named The American's Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, a first in her collegiate career.
Junior outside hitter Abbie Jackson leads Houston with 3.6 kills per set, while senior outside hitter Kennedy Warren posted the team's most recent double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs in the win over Albany.
Sophomore setter Annie Cooke tops the Cougars with 10.0 assists per set and ranks second in the league with that total.
(2021 record: 5-4, 0-0 SEC | Series Record: 1-2 | H: 1-0 | A: 0-2 | N: 0-0)
Alabama heads into the weekend with a 5-4 record, most recently falling to Texas State and Miami at last weekend's Bobcat Invitational. For their efforts over the weekend, Chaise Campbell and Dru Kuck were named to the Bobcat Invitational All-Tournament Team.
The Crimson Tide fell in a pair of matches at last weekend's Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, Texas, battling to a four-set decision against host Texas State on Friday before taking a three-set loss Saturday to Miami.
Freshman Sami Jacobs led the Tide with 25 kills (3.57/set), 16 of which came in the opening match against the Bobcats along with a season-high nine digs. Emily Janek and Brooke Slusser split setting duties, each finishing with 34.
Libero Dru Kuck again anchored the passing game, leading the team with 35 digs to earn her third All-Tournament accolade of the season. Chaise Campbell stuffed a team-leading nine blocks, earning a spot on the Bobcat Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Tech will kick off Ohio Valley Conference action with a pair of road matches in Edwardsville, Ill. The Golden Eagles will square off with SIUE at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, Sept. 24 and again at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Photo by Chattanooga Media Relations