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Dominant display leads Golden Eagles over Southern Indiana in OVC opener

Dominant display leads Golden Eagles over Southern Indiana in OVC opener

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A spectacular offensive showing and strong defensive play propelled the Tennessee Tech volleyball team to a 3-0 victory over first-time opponent Southern Indiana Friday night, as the Golden Eagles (4-9, 1-0) opened Ohio Valley Conference play with a dominant 1-0 start.

It seemed only fitting that on an evening that saw the program honor one of the best players in program history for a career milestone, a newcomer to Cookeville would turn in a record-breaking performance of her own.

Prior to the match, senior Taylor Dorsey was presented a commemorative volleyball to recognize her 1,000th career kill back on Sept. 10 against Bradley. The middle blocker became just the second player in program history to record 1,000 kills and 400 total blocks in their Golden Eagle career, joining Bonnie Zoss (1989-92) in the exclusive club.

Freshman Jordan Karlen shined on the night, setting the program's freshman assists record for a three-set match in the rally-scoring era. The Tech setter dished out a stunning 45 helpers during the match, the fourth-most in the rally-scoring era in a three-set tilt.

It marked the most by a Golden Eagle since Kappy Lang posted a record 47 at Austin Peay on Oct. 13, 2007. The rookie set the tone offensively for the purple and gold, distributing 13 assists in the opening set.

The purple and gold broke a 10-10 tie with a 5-1 run, extending the advantage as the set went on for a 25-18 victory. The Cookeville crew smashed home 14 kills while hitting .205 and adding four total blocks.

Tech used an early 5-0 run to pull away from the visiting Screaming Eagles in the second set, moving in front and holding on after a late push from the visitors. The offense upped the ante, collecting 19 kills on a .273 attack percentage to win the game 25-21. Karlen added a whopping 18 assists in the set.

In set three, Tech owned a one-point lead at 8-7. The Golden Eagles rolled off five straight points and never looked back, dominating to the tune of a 25-15 victory to clinch the sweep. The team powered in 15 more kills on another improved hitting percentage of .312, with Karlen accounting for 14 more helpers.

On top of her 45 assists on the night, Karlen also chipped in three block assists and eight digs. Dorsey produced a match-high 11 kills while hitting a solid .348 and racking up five blocks. Fellow middle Skylar Boom also rejected five attacks, adding eight kills to the mix.

Outside Madeline Furtado had a strong showing with 10 kills and a pair of blocks while fellow outside Madolyn Isringhausen accounted for nine kills and six digs. Libero McKenna Young piled up 17 digs to lead both sides on defense. Fellow defensive specialist Aleeya Jones led the match with three service aces.

Right side Morgan Gish chalked up eight terminations with four blocks while Brooke Amaan rounded out a steady team performance with seven digs and a pair of aces.

The Golden Eagles will wrap up the OVC opening weekend with another tilt against Southern Indiana Saturday afternoon. The match is set for a 2:00 p.m. CT start in the Hooper Eblen Center. Following the match, there will be a 30-minute clinic and autograph session as part of Tennessee Tech Volleyball Youth Day. The event is open to kids in sixth grade and younger.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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