By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
ATHENS, Ohio – Spectacular offense paced the Tennessee Tech volleyball team to its second straight win Friday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles kicked off action at the Bobcat Invitational with a 3-0 sweep of Loyola Maryland.
Squaring off with the Greyhounds for the first time in program history, the purple and gold hit a robust .308 in the three-set affair, accumulating 46 kills with just 10 errors. Tech also racked up 55 digs and four blocks as a unit.
Despite an early 3-0 lead for Loyola Maryland, Tech was quick to flip the script in set one, moving ahead 5-4. An 8-2 run propelled the Golden Eagles to a seven-point advantage, but the Greyhounds showed some fight, tying things up at 21-21. One final 4-1 stretch gave TTU a 25-22 victory to open the match.
The Cookeville crew put forth 13 kills with just a pair of attack errors across the first set, hitting .314. They followed it up with 15 more terminations while hitting .275 in set two, breaking free from an 8-8 draw with five straight points.
The lead grew to seven at its peak, and even with a late comeback bid by the Greyhounds, Tech never let its opponent close than 20-18 the rest of way, cruising to a 25-21 win and 2-0 lead in the match. The Golden Eagles also held Loyola Maryland to just eight kills of its own in the set.
It was a slow start to set three for the purple and gold, as Loyola jumped out of the game to the tune of a 9-3 advantage. The Golden Eagles worked their way back slowly, but even after their second timeout, still trailed by four at 22-18.
Tech dug deep, sporting a pair of kills and a service ace to pull within one. After tying the set at 23-23, Loyola called for a break. The two sides traded points twice, pushing the stalemate to 25-25. The Golden Eagle completed the comeback two points later, securing a kill from Madolyn Isringhausen before claiming the match on a bad set by the Greyhounds.
The win came on the back of 18 more terminations and a highly efficient .333 attack percentage from the purple and gold. Five different Golden Eagles tallied three or more kills in the set.
Middle blocker Taylor Dorsey paced the Tech effort, blasting 13 kills without a single attack error. Her .565 attack percentage marked the fourth-best showing in a three-set match in the rally-scoring era in program history.
Right side Morgan Gish put together a spectacular display on the offensive end as well, ripping off 11 kills while hitting a monster .500 for the three sets. Entering late in the first set, rookie setter Jordan Karlen compiled a whopping 29 assists for the day, including 11 in the second game and a ridiculous 17 in the third.
Libero Aleeya Jones produced a match-high and season-best 16 digs in the match while fellow defensive specialist McKenna Young added 13 digs and a pair of service aces. Middle blocker Skylar Boom led the match with four total blocks, including a pair of solo stops.
The Golden Eagles will wrap up action at the Bobcat Invitational with a pair of match-ups on Saturday, starting with a 9:30 a.m. CT tilt with Bradley. A 6:00 p.m. affair with host Ohio will conclude the weekend for the purple and gold.
File photo by Emily Armstrong