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Golden Eagles win fourth straight with 3-1 rally at SEMO

Golden Eagles win fourth straight with 3-1 rally at SEMO

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball fought tooth-and-nail for a resurgent, 3-1 victory at Southeast Missouri Friday evening, rallying from an early 1-0 deficit in Houck Field House.

The Golden Eagles moved into sole possession of second place in the current Ohio Valley Conference standings, sitting at 7-3 in league play after picking up just the fourth win in program history in Cape Girardeau. Tech outhit the Redhawks .133 to 0.55 with 49 kills and a season-high 15.0 blocks.

Southeast Missouri took an early 5-0 lead in the opening set, but Tech fought back to an 11-11 draw. Jumping back on top by as much as four points, the Redhawks watched the Golden Eagles rally again to take an 18-17 lead. One more time, the home squad answered right back, ending the set on an 8-3 run for 25-20 victory.

Set two proved to be worth its weight in gold, with SEMO jumping right back out to another 5-0 lead. After the Redhawks edged the lead to 9-3, the Golden Eagles started to go work, closing the gap and finally squaring things back up at 12-12.

Neither side moved ahead by more than a pair until the Golden Eagles scored four straight to rally from a 21-20 deficit and take a 24-21 lead. SEMO called a time out and turned in three straight to tie things at 24-24. The Redhawks inched ahead at 26-25, 27-26, and 28-27, but the Cookeville crew stood tall and matched each effort to tie things at 28-28 thanks to a solo block by Skylar Boom.

The junior middle blocker turned right around and blasted a kill for the 29-28 advantage. Defensive specialist Aleeya Jones dropped the dagger with a service ace for set point at 30-28. It marked the longest set for the Golden Eagles since falling 39-37 in the opening set at Eastern Illinois back on Oct. 18, 2019.

Tech claimed the critical set despite SEMO owing a 19-14 edge in kills, earning its points through five blocks and forcing nine Redhawk attack errors. The Golden Eagles ran the third set, rallying back from as far as 12-9 to jump ahead at 14-13 and never looking back.

The purple and gold dropped six straight points on the Redhawks, soaring ahead 17-13. Tech evolved the 6-0 streak into an 11-1 run, forcing not one, but two times outs by the home squad. Ahead 22-14, Tech cruised to a 25-19 win in the set while hitting a hot .344 with 15 kills. The visitors also held SEMO to just eight terminations with eight errors in the set, piling up four more rejections.

A close fourth set early quickly morphed into a big lead for the Golden Eagles, advancing from 7-6, to 14-8 in the blink of an eye. A block by Boom and right side Morgan Gish propelled it to a 20-14 lead for the purple and gold, giving Tech enough room to run away with the 25-19 win.

Four more blocks and 11 kills led the way for the Tech squad in the deciding set, with SEMO held to just seven kills and 10 attack errors for a -.086 attack percentage.

Outside Madolyn Isringhausen continued her hot play in the Show Me state, accounting for a match-high 17 kills, her highest output since racking up 19 in the season opener against Central Arkansas. She picked up her fourth double-double of the season, picking up 13 digs as well.

Middle blocker Taylor Dorsey had a big night with 10 kills and seven blocks, moving to within 26 of 500 for her career. Boom racked up seven total blocks of her own on the night, chipping seven kills as well. Gish contributed seven kills and four rejections.

Doing a little bit of everything on the night was outside Brooke Amann, tallying five kills, two assists, three blocks, and a career-high 18 digs. Jones put forth 14 digs and a team-high three service aces while libero McKenna Young provided 17 digs and four assists. Young now sits just five digs away from 1,000 for her career.

Freshman setter Jordan Karlen continued her strong rookie campaign, tallying 39 assists with seven digs and two blocks. Olivia Taylor was strong as a serving specialist, connecting for a pair of service aces.

The Golden Eagles and Redhawks will square off again Saturday afternoon in a 2:00 p.m. CT affair at Houck Field House.

File photo by Emily Armstrong

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