October 22, 2011

Late set rally lifts Tech past Murray State

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- When sophomore Allison May stepped in to serve for Tennessee Tech late in the fourth set it looked as though the fifth set was looming. Murray State had built a 24-20 lead and had kept the advantage for the majority of the set.

May had other plans as she tallied two service aces, to go along with kills from junior Kelsey Gray and sophomore Natalie Penrod, to knot up the score at 24. A tech service error gave the Racers the lead again at 25-24, but a pair of kills from Penrod and a Murray State attack error thwarted the Racers comeback as Tech secured the victory.

Along with her solid performance in the closing moments of the match, Penrod was just as effective throughout the match, notching a match-high 24 kills, which included at least four kills in every set.

Freshman Ellen Conti also made an impact on the Tech offense, chipping in with a total of 13 kills, all of which came in the final three sets.

While Penrod and Conti led the Tech offense, it was Gray who led the Golden Eagles on defense as she recorded a total of nine blocks, including a career-high seven solo tallies.

Gray was joined by three other Golden Eagles that put up a consistent wall against the Murray State attackers. Freshman Madison Keyes matched her career-high with five total blocks, while junior Katrina Dvorken and Penrod posted four total blocks each.

Junior Madison Comperry also made her presence felt as she dished out a match-high 42 assists. Her second set performance was the strongest, as she tallied 12 assists, while the Tech hitters combined for a .257 hitting percentage.

On the other side of the net the Racers were led by Lia Havili who tallied a team-high 39 assists to go along with 11 digs. Cassy Woolverton notched a Racer-high 13 kills, while Kayleigh Sauer added a match-high 22 digs.

The Golden Eagles (4-20, 3-11 OVC) start a four-match road trip Friday, beginning with the Austin Peay Lady Govs, at 7 p.m.