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Golden Eagles wrap up non-conference action at WKU Invitational

Golden Eagles wrap up non-conference action at WKU Invitational

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team wraps up non-conference play for the 2022 campaign with a trip to Bowling Green, Ky. and the WKU Invitational hosted by No. 21 nationally ranked Western Kentucky University.

The Golden Eagles will open play against the host Hilltoppers Friday with an 11:00 a.m. CT tilt and continue with a match-up against Indiana at 5:00 p.m. The purple and gold will conclude the weekend event Saturday at noon against Texas A&M.

Friday, Sept. 16 – at WKU, 11:00 a.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
Friday, Sept. 16 – vs. Indiana, 5:00 p.m. | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 17 – vs. Texas A&M, 12:00 p.m. | Live Stats

Tech took home the Bobcat Invitational crown last weekend, finishing 2-1 and clinching the hardware with a set percentage tiebreaker. The purple and gold won eight of its 12 sets in the event, while Ohio finished 7-4 and Bradley posted six wins and five losses.

The Golden Eagles picked up a 3-0 win over Loyola Maryland before falling to Bradley in a five-set thriller. Tech bounced back for a 3-1 win over the host Bobcats, with Skylar Boom collecting MVP honors and both Taylor Dorsey and Madolyn Isringhausen earning All-Tournament honors.

Middle blockers Boom and Dorsey rank No. 1 and 2 in the OVC for hitting percentage this season, with right side Morgan Gish giving the Golden Eagles three players in the top-10. Dorsey paces the group with a .347 attack percentage and 86 kills while Boom boasts a .339 mark with 80 terminations to rank second. Gish comes in eighth with 80 kills on a .292 attack.

Boom leads the Golden Eagles with 31 total blocks on the year while Dorsey is second with 25 stops overall. Over the weekend, Dorsey recorded her 1,000th career kill against the Braves in the first set, becoming just the second Golden Eagle ever to record at least 1,000 kills and 400 total blocks in the purple and gold.

Rookie setter Karlen turned in a spectacular weekend quarterbacking the Teck offense, picking up her first career OVC Setter and Newcomer of the Year honors after racking up 122 assists (10.17/set), 30 digs (2.50/set), and five blocks. Not entering the team's 3-0 sweep of Loyola Maryland until late in the first set, the rookie still chalked up 29 helpers, including a whopping 17 in the third set alone.

She ripped off 47 assists and a team-high 16 digs for a double-double in the five-set win over Bradley, adding three kills. The freshman concluded the weekend with another 46 assists in the team's 4-set victory over Ohio, clinching nine more digs and three blocks as well. Karlen ranks third in the league with 9.21 assists per set this season.

Libero McKenna Young ranks seventh in the conference with 3.58 digs per set while outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen ranks fifth in the league with 0.44 service aces per set. The sophomore outside also ranks sixth in the OVC in kills per set with a mark of 3.11.

(2022 record: 10-1, 0-0 C-USA | Series Record: 7-25 | H: 3-7 | A: 2-14 | N: 2-4)

No. 21 WKU comes into the weekend at a spectacular 10-1 on the year, capturing victories in each of its past seven matches. The team's lone loss on the year came against No. 3 Louisville in midweek action.

The Hilltoppers won their first of back-to-back home tournaments last weekend, edging Northern Kentucky 3-2 before posting 3-0 sweeps of Toledo and Austin Peay. WKU has won 11 consecutive sets, including the three-set sweep over Tennessee to mark the program's first win over the Lady Vols in their four meetings.

WKU, the preseason favorite to win the Conference USA title, has been paced by Preseason All-Conference Team members Paige Briggs and Lauren Matthews (Preseason Player of the year), both boasting team-highs of 135 kills. The two have hit .288 and .384 and added 20 and 40 total blocks, respectively.

Tech is 7-25 all-time against WKU, with the Hilltoppers boasting a 14-2 advantage in Bowling Green.

(2022 record: 5-4, 0-0 BIG TEN | Series Record: 0-0 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 0-0)

Indiana went 1-2 at the NC State Classic over the weekend, defeating Western Carolina 3-1 before falling to host NC State, 3-0, and TCU, 3-2. The match with WCU saw five Hoosiers record 10+ kills in a match for the first time in the Steve Aird era.

Mady Saris (15), Candela Alonso-Corcelles (14), Morgan Geddes (12), Savannah Kjolhede (11), and Kaley Rammelsberg (11) were all in double-digits as the Hoosiers powered to a four-set victory. Camryn Haworth was electric for IU during the three-game weekend, posting two double-doubles and 118 assists in Raleigh.

Geddes (13 kills vs. NC State) and Alonso-Corcelles (14 kills vs. TCU) posted career-highs over the course of the weekend on the offensive front. Saris has taken her season's tally to 112 kills in nine matches with seven of those games going for double-digit kills.

This will mark the first-ever match-up between Tennessee Tech and Indiana.

(2022 record: 6-2, 0-0 SEC | Series Record: 0-0 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 0-0)

Texas A&M extended its win streak to five with a pair of wins over Sam Houston and Louisiana last week. For the second-straight week, opposite hitter Logan Lednicky was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday. She became the first Aggie to receive it multiple times in a season since Hollann Hans in 2016 and first to earn the award since 2019.

The rookie leads A&M with 106 kills and 3.79 kills per set on the year. Graduate transfer Caroline Meuth has a team-high 11 service aces and ranks fourth in the SEC in attacks per set (9.64), fifth in total points (125.5) and seventh in points per set (4.48). Syracuse transfers Elena Karakasi and Lauren Hogan rank in the top 10 in the conference in their respective categories, as Karakasi is averaging the fifth-most assists per set (9.58) and Hogan has scooped the 10th-most digs (103).

The Golden Eagles and Aggies will meet for the first time in program history.

Up Next
Tech will kick off Ohio Valley Conference action with a pair of matches against new league foe Southern Indiana next weekend. The Golden Eagles will host the Screaming Eagles Friday, Sept. 23 in a 6:00 p.m. tilt and wrap up the weekend with a 2:00 p.m. match-up Saturday, Sept. 24.

Photo by Emily Armstrong

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