Golden Eagles down Murray State, 3-1; remains close behind Morehead State

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - After falling to league-leader Morehead State last Saturday, the Tennessee Tech volleyball team knew that they had to win their next match to stay in second place. Behind sophomore Leah Meffert's 23 kills, the Golden Eagles downed the visiting Murray State Racers, 3-1, Friday night to open a three-match homestand.

Meffert led the attack but reigning OVC Defensive Player of the Week junior Katie Kenline led the defense with 16 digs. In total, four players for the Golden Eagles reached double-digit digs.

"Murray State did what we expected them to do," said head coach John Blair. "They tried to control the tempo. They do things a little different than everybody else. It takes a little while to adjust to it."

Set one wasn't exactly as Tech wanted. Murray State claimed the first set 25-22 through a back-and-forth contest. There were seven ties and three lead changes throughout the first set. Meffert had five of her 23 kills in the first set.

"Leah had a good match," said Blair. "She hit well and didn't make many mistakes. She had five errors and two of those were in the first set, so she only had three in the last three."

Note: Due to problems with the Internet system on campus, we were unable to send the live web stream of the match to Jump TV. The problem cannot be repaired until Monday, so Saturday's match with UT Martin will not be streamed live. Both matches are being recorded by Tech's Sports Information office, and will be uploaded to the OVCsports.TV archives. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the problem is beyond our control. Live stats for the match are working, but are a little slow due to the same campus-wide problem.

Settling in after a rough first set, the Golden Eagles came back and took control early with blocks and built their lead up and dug in (no pun intended) for the 25-19 set two win. Kenline had three of her 16 digs in the second frame to lead the match with eight heading into the break.

"I thought Katie had a pretty good match," said Blair. "She passed the ball well and helped control the backcourt. She kept us in some long rally points."

With the score the exact same, Tech took the lead in the match after claiming the third set win 25-19. The Golden Eagles might have gotten on a slow start being down 7-5, but went on a 10-2 run and never looked back. Sophomore Marie Peddicord took charge in the third set and finished the match by equaling her career-best with 11 kills.

"Marie had 30 swing," said Blair. "I think that's the most she's ever had. It's good to see that, and to know that we can look to her more often."

The fourth set proved to be the last one that the Golden Eagles needed as they went back and forth with the Racers again but came out on top of a 25-21 set win.

Three Golden Eagles were in double-digit kills. Meffert and Peddicord were joined by junior Amanda Lindgren who also had 11 kills. The 12 team blocks tied a season-high, with the blocks coming from four differnt players.

The Racers were led by Becca Lamb's 14 kills and Jade Guo's double-double with 37 assists and 10 digs.

Tech (9-9, 6-2 OVC) returns to the court on Saturday when they face UT Martin at 2 p.m.