By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team makes its way to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in Martin, Tenn. this week, competing against the league's best with a bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
No. 1 seeded UT Martin will host the event after clinching the top spot and regular-season title by defeating the Golden Eagles last Friday. The purple and gold, seeded second overall after turning in the program's best win total both in the regular season and OVC play (17-13, 14-4) since 2008, will square off with No. 7 seeded Lindenwood in the second match of the event at 12:30 p.m. CT Thursday afternoon.
No. 3 Morehead State will take on No. 6 Tennessee State in the first contest of the day while match-ups between No. 4 Eastern Illinois and No. 5 Southeast Missouri, as well as UT Martin and No. 8 SIUE, round out the opening day. All matches are slated to appear on ESPN+.
This trip to the OVC Tournament marks the third for Tech under fifth-year head coach Jeannette Phillips. Last season, the purple and gold finished in a tie for fourth in the final league standings, receiving the No. 6 seed due to tiebreakers. The Golden Eagles fell to in-state rival Austin Peay in the first round, 3-0.
Tech split its weekend series with new OVC foe Lindenwood earlier this season, overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the opener in St. Charles, Mo. for a 3-2 win. The Lions answered with a 3-1 win the following day to even the all-time series.
Thursday, November 17 – vs. No. 7 Lindenwood, 12:30 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
Friday, November 18 – vs. No. 3 Morehead State/No. 6 Tennessee State, 3:00 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
Saturday, November 19 – vs. TBA, 7:00 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
The Golden Eagles ended the 2022 regular season on a tear, winning 11 of their final 12 matches, including a thrilling, five-set affair with regular-season champion UT Martin on Senior Day last Saturday. The Skyhawks snapped Tech's 10-match winning streak on Friday to capture the OVC title with a 3-1 win.
Senior middle blocker Taylor Dorsey turned in yet another great season, ranking third in the league in attack percentage at .326. She produced nearly 50 more kills than the two players ranked above her. The Birmingham native also finished ninth in the league in blocks per set, averaging 0.94 per set on the year. During the year, she became the first Golden Eagle ever to record 1,000 kills and 500 total blocks for a career and set the program's all-time record for block assists.
Outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen was the top offensive weapon for the purple and gold for the second straight year, ranking seventh in the conference with 3.16 terminations per set. The sophomore also finished fifth in the league with 0.34 service aces per set and fifth in points per set with a mark of 3.73.
Rookie setter Jordan Karlen established herself immediately as one of the best at her position, finishing the year second in the league in assists per set with a mark of 9.84. Her 1,063 total assists paced the OVC and broke the Golden Eagle freshman record for the category set by Kappy Lang back in 2005.
Middle Skylar Boom finished the year 10th in the conference in attack percentage with an efficiency of .266 and ranked in a tie for 10th with 0.94 blocks per set. Libero McKenna Young ranked eighth in the league in digs per set, averaging 3.69 on the year. She also averaged 0.30 aces per set, finishing ninth in the OVC.
Photo by Jim Dillon