Golden Eagles fall in opener at WKU; also get tripped by Miami (Ohio)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The Tennessee Tech volleyball team looked like it was back on the winning track in its opening match at the WKU Invitational Friday, but couldn't sustain the momentum and opened the tournament with a pair of first-day losses.

Tech opened the tournament with a tough 3-2 loss to Valparaiso, then suffered a 3-0 setback to Miami in the afternoon. Valpo's set scores were 25-10, 23-25, 22-25, 25-17 and 15-10. Miami won by set scores of 31-29, 25-19 and 25-19.

After collecting only seven kills in the first set loss, 25-10, Tech rebounded to claim the next two sets against Valparaiso and put the pressure on the Crusaders. But strong play by Valparaiso in the final two games let the momentum switch back and the Crusaders came away with a 3-2 win.

The afternoon match for the Golden Eagles (2-6) saw the Redhawks of Miami (Ohio) claim a tough 3-0 win and improve to 5-2.

Against Miami, Tech pushed the first set to the limit before falling, 31-29. Emily Schroeder's serve helped the RedHawks' start strong in set one. It led to kills by Michele Metzler, Hallie Hanks and Maria Leahy as Miami jumped to an early 4-1 lead. The Redhawks maintained that lead as Schroeder and Metzler scored two kills apiece as Miami built its largest lead at 17-12.

An 8-2 run by Tennessee Tech gave the Golden Eagles their first advantage of the set at 20-19. Miami responded with a 5-3 run of its own to get to set point at 24-23. Tennessee Tech fought that off to tie the score at 24. After an attack error gave the Golden Eagles their own set point, a kill by Megan Griffin retied the score.

The two teams traded points until it was tied at 29. From there, an Andrea Atteberry serve created an attack error by Tennessee Tech. On the next point, Hanks scored the kill to give the Redhawks the first set, 31-29.

The even play between the two teams continued throughout the first half of the second set. With the score tied at 11, the Golden Eagles went on a 5-3 run to build a 16-14 lead. Miami went on to score the next three points to even the score. With the score knotted up at 18-18, the Redhawks went on a 7-1 run to claim set two of the match, 25-19.
Miami came out of the break strong and built a 13-5 lead in the third and final set. The Redhawks maintained their lead from there, not letting the Golden Eagles get closer than five points.

Tech was able to fight off three match points while down 24-16, but Miami was able to hold on for the 25-19 win.

Marie Peddicord and Alysson Sanders led Tech with eight kills each. Setters Kappy Lang and Melanie Culp split time on the floor, with Lang collecting 19 assists and Culp getting 11. Katie Kenline's nine digs paced Tech's back row work.

More information on the Valparaiso match will be available shortly. The Golden Eagles return to the court tomorrow when they face Furman and tournament host Western Kentucky before returning home for the opening weekend of OVC action. Tech begins league play on Sept. 19-20 when by hosting Austin Peay and defending OVC champion Tennessee State.