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Tech stays unbeaten in OVC play with 3-1 win over Tennessee State

Tech stays unbeaten in OVC play with 3-1 win over Tennessee State

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team continued to roll Saturday evening, defeating in-state and Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee State, 3-1 (25-14, 17-25, 26-24, 25-15), for the second-straight night to stay perfect in league play.

The Golden Eagles (9-6, 4-0) moved to 4-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1993 season, dominating in the bookend sets of the match and gutting out a win in the third set. Tech's attack was strong for the second night in-a-row, totaling 59 kills while holding the Tigers to just 38.

In the opener, senior Lauren Toledo set the tone early from the serve, breaking a 4-4 tie with the Golden Eagles dropping five straight points. Tech continued to lay it on, using a 6-3 run to take a 15-7 lead into the media timeout. The rest of the way, the home squad outscored its opponent from Nashville 10-7, holding them to a -.154 attack percentage and winning 25-14.

The Tigers answered back in the second set of the night, ripping off a hitting percentage of .424 with 15 kills, 10 more than the previous game. Breaking a 15-15 tie with a kill, Tennessee State then threw a block party, rejecting four consecutive Golden Eagle attacks to take a five-point lead. TSU closed the set with a 5-2 run, winning 25-17 to even things at 1-1.

Producing a match-high 18 kills in set three, Tech outlasted a feisty run from the Tigers, with both sides trading turns out in front. Neither squad took more than a three-point advantage, and after Tech looked for set point at 24-23, the Tigers extended things for at least one more go, tying it at 24-all. Following an attack error by TSU, Tech closed the set, 26-24, with a kill from redshirt sophomore Madeline Furtado for a 2-1 lead.

After falling behind 1-0 in the fourth set, the Golden Eagles quickly took control and never looked back, running off four straight points and holding at least a multiple-point advantage the rest of the way. Rocking 15 more kills in the final set, Tech claimed a 25-15 victory while holding the Tigers to under 10 kills for the third time in four games.

Senior Ashley Hand had another fantastic night quarterbacking the Tech offense, racking up 46 assists for an 11.50 per set average. She also notched 14 digs, collecting her sixth double-double of the year while adding three kills and three blocks.

Taylor Dorsey looked every bit of the Preseason All-OVC selection she was to start the year, compiling a match-high 13 kills with six total blocks. She hit .258 on the night as well. Outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen totaled 11 kills with nine digs and four blocks to add to the mix.

Also with 11 kills was right side Morgan Gish, hitting .280 with three blocks of her own. Libero McKenna Young led the Golden Eagles with 18 digs in the contest while defensive specialist Lauren Toledo produced 12 digs. Providing a huge spark off the bench in sets three and four was middle blocker Dallas Oatis, who turned in seven kills on nine swings with zero errors. She hit an other-wordly .778 while adding a block assist.

Tech continues its longest home stretch of the season of five straight matches in Cookeville on Wednesday evening, hosting Morehead State in a 6:00 p.m. CT tilt before Friday and Saturday affairs with in-state foe Austin Peay.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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