By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team is set for a pair of in-state clashes with Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay Friday and Saturday, squaring off with the last undefeated team in the league.
Friday's match will feature a 6:00 p.m. CT start while Saturday's tilt is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. Both matches are slated to appear on ESPN+.
Tech suffered its first loss in OVC play Wednesday evening, dropping a tough-fought midweek tilt with reigning league champion Morehead State. The Eagles defeated the Golden Eagles, 3-1 (25-17, 28-26, 22-25, 25-20), snapping the purple and gold's perfect start to conference action.
Libero McKenna Young delivered one of the top performances in her time in Cookeville, recording a four-set career-high 27 digs for the Tech defense. This season, she leads the Golden Eagles with 4.09 digs per set, the seventh-best mark in the OVC. She also ranks fourth in the league with 0.34 service aces per set.
Senior Ashley Hand averaged more than 10 assists per set for her fifth-straight contest against Morehead State, all in OVC play, recording 41 while narrowly missing out on a double-double with nine digs. The Tech setter ranks third in the league with a per set assists average of 10.05 and paces all OVC quarterbacks in league play with a mark of 11.26 assists per set.
The Greenwood Village, Colo. native needs just 16 more assists to pass Melanie Culp and move to eighth on Tech's all-time career list. With 46 more, she will pass Nancy Meyer for seventh all-time.
Middle blocker Taylor Dorsey delivered another strong showing at the net, racking up six total blocks while adding nine kills on a .348 hitting percentage. Ranked second on the Tech squad in kills, she ranks third in the league in attack percentage with a mark of .290. Her 1.16 blocks per set place her fourth in the conference while her 67.0 total blocks lead the OVC. In league play, she ranks second overall with 1.47 rejections per set.
Dorsey currently ranks fifth all-time in Tech history in block assists, needing 42 more to move past Bonnie Zoss for fourth place. The Birmingham, Ala. native moved past Carrie Slagle for sixth on the Golden Eagle total blocks career charts and needs just 17 more to skip past Bilyana Triko for fifth.
Returning freshman Madolyn Isringhausen ranks as the top offensive weapon for Tech averaging the sixth-most kills per set in the league with a mark of 3.29. Her 0.31 service aces per set mark her seventh in the OVC while her 3.95 points average rank her sixth. Also in the top 10in the OVC in service aces for the Golden Eagles is Emma Osterbur, averaging the fourth-most with 0.34.
SCOUTING THE GOVERNORS
(2021 record: 11-6, 4-0 OVC | Series Record: 51-40 | H: 29-13 | A: 13-25 | N: 9-2)
After hosting each of its first four OVC matches at home, all victories, Austin Peay will take to the road for the first time in league play this season. The Govs enter after sweeping SIUE twice over the weekend, led by reigning OVC Offensive Player of the Week, Brooke Moore.
Moore leads the visitors in both kills (213) and digs (176) this season, ranking fourth in the league with a mark of 3.44 kills per set. The Preseason All-OVC selection is one of just eight Govs to ever record both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during her career, ranking fourth all-time in kills and 10th in digs.
The outside hitter also represents Austin Peay in the top-10 rankings in the league with 3.99 points per set (fifth), 0.32 service aces per set (sixth), and a .256 attack percentage (10th).
Middle blocker Maggie Keenan paces Austin Peay with 63 total blocks and currently sits second in the OVC with a 1.21 blocks per set mark. Her 13 solo blocks are tied for second in the league as well.
The Govs setter tandem of Caroline Waite and Kelsey Mead are in their second year combining to quarterback the offense. The duo ranks 12th and 13th all-time in career assists, respectively. Waite has averaged 4.83 assists and 2.33 digs per set while Mead is averaging 5.00 assists and 1.66 digs per set.
The Golden Eagles hit the road for the first time in two weeks, making a visit to Murray State for a pair of matches on Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16.
Photo by Jim Dillon