By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A total team effort lifted the Tennessee Tech volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-20) victory over SIUE in the Ohio Valley Conference opening match at the Vadalabene Center Friday evening.
Five different Golden Eagles tallied at least six kills on the night while the team combined for 40 with a .216 hitting percentage. Adding nine total blocks to the mix, the purple and gold claimed the W in its OVC opener for the first time since defeating Eastern Kentucky 3-1 in Cookeville back in the 2016 campaign.
Squaring off with the Cougars for the first time since the 2019 season – Tech did not play SIUE, UT Martin, or Southeast Missouri in 2020-21 during a limited schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the Golden Eagles evened their all-time mark playing in Edwardsville to 3-3.
"We had a very cohesive and confident performance tonight," Tech head coach Jeannette Waldo expressed. "We didn't take ourselves too seriously and just enjoyed the time together and the opportunity to compete."
The purple and gold opened the match in style, with a Taylor Dorsey kill that got the visitors off and running early. Tech built the advantage out early on in the first set, growing to as large as seven points at 15-8. The home squad showed some fight, pulling to within a single point at 19-18, but the Golden Eagles closed things out with another kill from a middle blocker, a huge swing from Skylar Boom for a 25-21 win.
Tech's Preseason All-OVC selection, Dorsey set the tone for set two right off the bat, gathering a solo block to spark an 8-0 run to open the game. The Golden Eagles never looked back, coasting to a 25-18 victory in the set to take a 2-0 lead headed into the break.
The Cougars took their first lead of the match in the third set, holding it as long as 9-8 before the Golden Eagles took back control for good. The purple and gold rattled off a 5-1 run to jump back in front and proceeded to increase its lead to as much as six. SIUE closed the gap to two, but Tech finished the match off on a 3-0 run for a 25-20 victory in the set.
Outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen led the Golden Eagles with eight kills during the match, chipping in a service ace and a block assist. Dorsey delivered seven kills while hitting .312 and registered five total blocks, a match-high for the day.
Also contributing seven kills to the purple and gold effort were right side Morgan Gish and outside hitter Madeline Furtado. Gish tacked on a trio of blocks while Furtado hit a match-high .333 and produced two blocks. Rounding out the list of Golden Eagles with at least five kills in the match was sophomore Skylar Boom, who tallied six with three block assists.
Setter Ashley Hand moved into 10th place on Tech's all-time career assists list on the night, dishing out 33 in the 3-0 sweep to give her 2,130 and pass former teammate, Susie Jeziorowski. Libero McKenna Young led all players in the match with 16 digs and added two service aces. Senior Lauren Toledo also produced a pair of aces while compiling 10 digs of her own.
The Golden Eagles will look to make it a 2-0 start to OVC play on Saturday, facing the Cougars in a rematch in the Vadalabene Center at 2:00 p.m. CT.
File photo by Jim Dillon