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OVC honors Dorsey, Hand with weekly honors for second time this season

OVC honors Dorsey, Hand with weekly honors for second time this season

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – For the second time this season, a pair of Tennessee Tech volleyball student-athletes were honored as the best the Ohio Valley Conference had to offer this past week, with the league announcing its weekly honors Monday afternoon.

Middle blocker Taylor Dorsey was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week while Ashley Hand was honored as the OVC Co-Setter of the Week. Both Golden Eagles collected their second such honors of the season, respectively. The pair of Tech veterans were also recognized on Sept. 27.

Dorsey, a preseason All-OVC pick, was dominant on both offense and defense in picking up her third career weekly honor on the defensive side of the ball. The junior averaged 1.71 blocks per set with a total of 12 overall while helping the purple and gold to a weekend split with one of the league's hottest teams in Southeast Missouri.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., she racked up a whopping 33 kills with just five errors in seven sets, averaging 4.71 per game. Dorsey hit a mind-blowing .483 from her middle blocker position, accounting for 5.57 points per set.

The Golden Eagle hit .452 with a team-high 18 kills and seven block assists in Friday's match, following it up with 15 kills to just one error for a .519 attack percentage and five more blocks in Saturday's win. On Friday, Dorsey passed Bilyana Triko to rank fifth on Tech's all-time career total blocks list. She also currently ranks fifth on the Golden Eagle career list for block assists, needing just 19 more to pass Bonnie Zoss for fourth.

Hand picked up her third career OVC Setter of the Week accolades after dominating all weekend against the Redhawks to the tune of 13.29 assists per set. Quarterbacking a hot offense, the setter helped Tech to a .253 hitting percentage as a unit, including a mark of .367 in Saturday's victory, the highest output by a Golden Eagle squad since 2018.

Chipping in six kills on a .333 attack percentage, 16 digs, and four blocks, it was her passing that proved elite all weekend. The Greenwood Village, Colo. native dished out 49 helpers for a 12.25 per set average on Friday, adding 10 digs for a double-double. She then delivered a remarkable 44 assists in just three sets in Saturday's win, an average of 14.67, tying for the fourth-most in a three-set match by a Golden Eagle during the rally-scoring era.

Currently ranked seventh in program history in career assists with a mark of 2,552, Hand needs just 319 more to pass Jenny (Pruett) Turner for sixth all-time. Her current career rate of 9.52 assists per set ranks second in program history while her season rate of 10.17 assists per set ranks fifth in the rally-scoring era.

Dorsey and Hand became the first pair of Golden Eagle volleyball teammates to claim honors from the league in the same week two times in one season since Katie Kenline earned a pair of Defensive Player of the Week nods and Kappy Lang collected Setter of the Week accolades on Oct. 6 and Oct. 27 during the 2008 season.

The Golden Eagles are set for three consecutive road matches, starting with a Wednesday match at Morehead State at 5:00 p.m. CT. Tech will follow it up with a 5:00 p.m. meeting at UT Martin on Friday and an 11:00 a.m. matinee against the Skyhawks on Saturday.

Photos by Jim Dillon

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