September 25, 2010

Balanced attack leads Tech to first OVC victory

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Golden Eagles (3-12, 1-3 OVC) spread the offense around as they earned their first OVC win of the season against Tennessee State. Tech won by the scores of 25-22, 27-25 and 25-23.

"There was a different tempo today than there was against Austin Peay," head coach John Blair said. '"We just responded better against Tennessee State."

The Golden Eagles controlled the first set early on and built a 17-10 lead. The Tigers managed to pull within two at 23-21 but Tech would not be denied as it closed out the first set with a 25-22 victory. Senior middle blocker Marie Peddicord paced the Golden Eagle offense with six kills.

The second set proved more competitive as neither team led by more than three points the whole way. TSU looked to be on the verge of winning the second set as it owned a 23-21 lead, but the Golden Eagles fought their way back and won the second set in extra points by the score of 27-25. Freshman outside hitter Natalie Penrod, sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Gray and Peddicord each chipped in three kills.

Looking to avoid the sweep TSU fought hard in the third set, as it owned a 20-19 lead. Three Golden Eagle kills and three Tiger errors thwarted TSU's attempts to avoid the sweep as Tech took the third set and the match by the score of 25-23.

"This match was one of our better defensive performances," Blair said. "When we play good defense we play more aggressive. We just need to get more consistent performances to keep this up."

Gray and Penrod led the Golden Eagle offense with 10 kills, while Peddicord added nine. Senior outside hitter Leah Meffert led the team in digs with 17, while senior setter Melanie Culp added 29 assists.

Tech begins a four-game road trip as it takes on UT Martin Friday, at 7 p.m.

"We're a better team than our record shows," Blair said. "We are determined to dig ourselves out of the early hole we dug."