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September 9, 2011

Golden Eagles stopped by UNC Asheville to open play at Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech volleyball team was hoping that Friday afternoon would bring a change of fortunes and the Golden Eagles could net their first win of the season. Instead, the UNC Asheville Bulldogs stopped Tech in three sets, claiming a 25-17, 25-18, 25-21 victory to open play in the Chattanooga Invitational.

Coach John Blair's team, now 0-8, returns to the floor Saturday for two more matches in the tourney. Tech meets hosts UTC at 9 a.m., and wraps up its visit ith a 3 p.m. contest against East Tennessee State. The UTC tourney is Tech's final non-conference action of the season, with the Ohio Valley Conference opener against UT Martin looming on Friday (Sept. 16).

On Friday, Natalie Penrod led Tech's attack with eight kills, while Kelsey Gray and Sarah Teel added seven kills each. Gray also had four blocks in the match. Freshman Madison Keyes also chipped in with four kills and three total blocks. On theback row, Allison May topped Tech with 11 digs, while Madison Comperry handled most of the setting duties and finished with 23 assists.

UNCA was paced by Cindi Miller with 15 kills, while Meredith Foster and Holly Shelton added nine kills each. Foster was the team leader at the net with six blocks total. Hallie Morse contributed 34 assists, while two players were in double figures for digs -- Alex Stewart with 13 and achel Wells with 11.

Tech never led or tied the score in the first two sets as UNCA was on top from wire-to-wire. In the third set, the Golden Eagles made a bid to rally. Tech led 2-1 early in the set for its only lead of the day, and fell behind as UNCA had a 10-1 run to build an 11-3 lead. Gray and Penrod were the keys at the net as Tech had a 10-4 stretch that brought the Golden Eagles to within two, 15-13. Tech was still two points back at 16-14 when the Bulldogs scored four straight to make it a 20-14 edge. Tech got back to within 24-21 on Penrod's eighth kill, but Shelton's kill ended the match.