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Tech slated for Wednesday tilt at Morehead State, weekend matches at home against Little Rock

Tech slated for Wednesday tilt at Morehead State, weekend matches at home against Little Rock

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team will take on a trio of matches during the week, beginning with a quick road trip up to Morehead State for a Wednesday night affair at 5:00 p.m. CT.

The Golden Eagles will then return home to host Little Rock for the first time as Ohio Valley Conference opponents Friday and Saturday. The first match is slated for a 6:00 p.m. CT start on Friday while the second match of the weekend will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, both inside the comfort of the Hooper Eblen Center.  

Wednesday, October 26 – at Morehead State, 5 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats 
Friday, October 28
 – vs. Little Rock, 6 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats 
Saturday, October 29 – vs. Little Rock, 2 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats 

The Golden Eagles picked up their first ever season series sweep over Southeast Missouri during the week, collecting back-to-back 3-1 victories to make it a program-best three straight wins over the Redhawks dating back to last season. The two wins also gave Tech five straight overall for its longest winning streak of the season, catapulting the purple and gold into sole possession of second place in the OVC standings.

Freshman setter Jordan Karlen ranks second in the league in total assists so far this season, racking up 766 in her rookie campaign. She also ranks second in assists per set with a mark of 9.70. 

Tech boasts two of the top-10 players ranked in hitting percentage in the OVC, led by senior middle blocker Taylor Dorsey and her .341 clip. She is tied for the team lead in blocks with 70 on the year, needing just 22 more to become just the third Golden Eagle in program history to reach 500 for a career and the second to boast 1,000 kills as well.

Fellow middle Skylar Boom ranks fifth in the league with a .296 efficiency while also boasting 70 rejections. Outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen ranks seventh in the league with 0.33 service aces per set, compiling 28 so far on the year to rank fifth in overall aces. Her 3.08 kills per set rank seventh in the conference while her 265 total terminations rank her fifth. 

Libero McKenna Young ranks eighth in the OVC with 3.67 digs per set and sixth with a total of 316. The sophomore joined Tech's 1,000-dig club in Saturday's win at SEMO, becoming the first Golden Eagle to reach the career plateau since Kirsten Brugere in 2018.  

(2022 record: 11-11, 7-4 OVC | Series Record: 21-75 | H: 11-33 | A: 7-35 | N: 3-7)

Morehead State has won three straight matches, including wins of 3-0 and 3-1 against Eastern Illinois last weekend at home. The Eagles also won its second of two matches at Little Rock, 3-0, the weekend prior.

Senior setter Bridget Bessler was named OVC Setter of the Week for the 13th time in her career and the third time this season. The 13 awards ties former teammate Olivia Lohmeier for the most individual awards in program history.

Bessler averaged more than 12 assists per set last weekend in the Eagles' two wins over Eastern Illinois and leads the conference with 10.0 assists per set. Bessler's 3,762 career assists now rank third in program history.

Middle blocker Irene Wogenstahl had a monster weekend against EIU. She landed 29 kills and made only three errors for a .500 attack percentage. Along with her offensive efforts, she also piled up 13 blocks in the two matches, including nine on Friday when she smacked down 21 kills as well.

Morehead State is 52-11 in home matches since 2018, for an 83-percent home success rate.

(2022 record: 7-18, 4-8 OVC | Series Record: 1-1 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 0-1 | U: 1-0)

Little Rock went unbeaten last week, besting Southeast Missouri 3-2 in midweek action before sweeping Southern Indiana. The Trojans earned 3-0 and 3-2 wins over the Screaming Eagles to help keep the winning streak alive.

Trojan freshman setter Gabrielle Spankus has made the transition to collegiate volleyball look easy, entering this week's action with a .348 assist percentage, a mark that ranks 11th in school history for a career. The Florida native also has a .968 serve percentage this year, a mark that ranks ninth-best in school history for a single season and fifth-best for a career.

Little Rock's net defense has been hot this with the Trojans 50th in the nation averaging 2.42 blocks per set and fifth in the country with 227.5 total blocks on the year. Both marks lead the OVC.

That stifling defense is led by Zanobia Willis, who enters this week ranked first in the OVC with an average of 1.20 blocks per set. Overall, she has 103 total blocks on the year which leads the OVC. Meanwhile, Daedrianna Cail ranks second in the league with an average of 1.12 blocks per set while her 101 total blocks rank second in the OVC.

This will mark the first meeting between the two programs as OVC foes and just the third overall. The most recent match-up between Tech and Little Rock went in favor of the Trojans, a 3-0 decision at the Memphis Invitational on Sept. 11, 2015.

Up Next
The Golden Eagles hit the road for the final time in the regular season, making the long trek north for a pair of tilts at Eastern Illinois. Tech will square off with the Panthers Friday, Nov. 4 at 6:00 p.m. CT and again at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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