MURRAY, Ky. -- The Golden Eagle volleyball team opened Ohio Valley Conference play Friday night at Murray State. Tech took the first set to extra points, but ultimately fell to the Racers 3-0.
Set scores for Murray State were 29-27, 25-15 and 25-13.
Outside hitter Ellen Conti led the Golden Eagles with 10 kills, but Kelsey Gray led the team with a .529 attack percentage, tallying nine kills on 17 swings in an error-free perfomance. Freshman Cody Dodd chipped in with five kills, a career high for the newcomer.
Courtney Smith led the Golden Eagle defense with 15 digs. Gray anchored the net knocking down two solo blocks and assisting with five. Conti and senior Katrina Dvorken each assisted in three blocks, with Madison Keyes chipping in with one block assist.
Tech lost the first set 29-27 despite out-hitting and out-blocking the Racers. Tech recorded 13 kills at a .323 clip while Murray State only muscled a .216 attack percentage. The Golden Eagle block recorded five blocks to the Racers zero. The first set came down to who was going to commit an error first. The score was 24-24 and Tech was the first to strike as a kill by Conti kept the Golden Eagles serving. A kill by Murray State tied the match again at 25, but another Conti kill gave Tech a second advantage. Two more Murray State kills, and an attack error by Tech sent Murray State to set two with all the momentum.
Set two opened with a 12-0 run and the Golden Eagles could never regain the deficit. Attack errors forced by Gray's blocks kept Tech in the set, but the Murray State raced to a 25-15 victory.
The third set placed Tech into a similar situation as the Golden Eagles chased down the Racers, but ran out of time. Murray State went on to win the match 25-13.
The Golden Eagles return to OVC action Saturday at Austin Peay. The afternoon match will be held at 2:00. Tech finally returns to the Hooper-Eblen Center September 25 for the first home match of the season against Jacksonville State.