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September 2, 2011

Golden Eagles drop pair of close matches to Lipscomb, Arkansas State

NASHVILLE – Despite some solid performances in both of its matches, the Tennessee Tech volleyball team took a pair of losses to Lipscomb(3-1) and Arkansas State (3-0) Saturday, at the Lipscomb Invitational, in Nashville.

"We played well enough to win both matches," head coach John Blair said. "We just need to get more consistent."

The Golden Eagles began the day with a 3-1 loss to in-state rival Lipscomb, in a hotly contested match. TTU may have fallen 25-8 in the opening set, but it would not go quietly as it pushed the Lady Bisons to the limit in the middle sets.

In an effort to shake things up, sophomore setter Lauren Stiles stepped in as the starting setter for the second set and she made the most of it as she dished out 14 of her 32 assists of the match, en route to a 25-19 second set victory.

With Stiles setting the table, the Golden Eagles notched 16 kills, while hitting at an impressive .371 clip. Sophomore outside hitter Natalie Penrod tallied six of her 11 total kills in the second set, while sophomore defensive specialist Allison May notched six of her 10 digs of the match.

"Lauren played very steady and controlled, and that's what our team needed after that first set," Blair said.

The third set proved more competitive than the second set as both teams found themselves knotted up late in the set at 18. Lipscomb managed to go on a 6-4 run to get the first crack at the set point at 24-22, but the Golden Eagles would not go quietly as Tech answered right back to tie up the score at 24. The Lady Bisons were able to withstand TTU's comeback as they managed to take the set 27-25 however.

Lipscomb carried its momentum over into the fourth set as it took the set 25-10, and the match.

The Golden Eagles finished up the day with a 3-0 loss to Arkansas State that was just as competitive as Tech's encounter with Lipscomb.

The opening frame against the Red Wolves saw six lead changes as both teams were tied up at 19. Arkansas State used a pair of aces and Tech errors to wrap up the set 25-21.

May tallied 11 of her 17 digs in the opening set against the Red Wolves, while freshman outside hitter Ellen Conti posted four of her 12 kills.

The second set was the setting for another extra point battle as the Red Wolves managed to stave off defeat on four straight set points, as they took the set 29-27. Conti paced the Golden Eagles offense with six kills, while junior setter Madison Comperry added 13 assists.

In the third set, Arkansas State built a nine-point lead at 17-8 and never looked back as it took the set 25-16, and the match.