By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – An incredible effort up the middle and determined effort at the service line lifted the Tennessee Tech volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over Evansville Saturday afternoon, as the purple and gold closed out play at the 2022 Golden Eagle Invitational in style.
The Golden Eagles produced remarkably strong sideout percentages all day, particularly over the final three sets of the match. Posting a mark well over 72 percent, Tech also accounted for 53 kills on a .321 attack percentage, 11 service aces, 43 digs, and 9.0 blocks.
The visitors from Evansville took the opening set, a back-and-forth affair that saw neither side take more than a two-point advantage until the very end. The purple and aces clocked three straight points to break a 21-21 tie, ending the set on a 4-1 run for a 25-22 victory.
In set two, both sides traded the lead multiple times, until the Golden Eagles snapped a 12-12 stalemate with a huge kill from middle blocker Skylar Boom. Tech never let the Purple Aces back in it, holding the lead the rest of the way for a 25-20 victory to even things at 1-1.
Tech changed the tune of the match from that point on, snapping a 2-2 draw in the third set with an 8-2 run. The Cookeville crew ran that lead up to eight at 18-10 and pumped out another 7-3 run to cruise to a 25-13 win. The purple and gold hit a match-high .360 in the set with 12 kills while accumulating a whopping four blocks and four service aces.
That momentum continued into the fourth set, with the Golden Eagles taking a 2-1 lead and never looking back. Tech only allowed Evansville to drop back-to-back points three times the rest of the day, easily collecting a 25-15 victory.
Setter Jazmine Yamilkoski helped direct a balanced attack, racking up a career-high 47 assists and 10 digs for a double-double. She also chipped in four block assists and a pair of kills. On the direct receiving end of her distributions were middles Taylor Dorsey and Boom and right side Morgan Gish, who erupted for massive performances.
Boom led the team with 13 kills without making an attack error and totaling four blocks. The junior put together the third-highest hitting percentage for a four-set match in the rally-scoring era in Tech history, smashing .591 overall. Her performance led to a spot on the Golden Eagle Invitational All-Tournament Team as well.
Dorsey dropped 12 kills on 47.4 percent efficiency, rejecting five attempts by the Purple Aces. Rounding out the trio of spectacular showings, Gish contributed 11 kills and five blocks while hitting .526 overall.
Tech will return to action next Friday, Sept. 9 with a 3:30 p.m. CT tilt against Loyola Maryland to open play at Ohio's Bobcat Invitational. The tournament is set to take place in Athens, Ohio and will feature a pair of Saturday matches against Bradley and the host Bobcats.
Photo by Jim Dillon