August 31, 2013

Tech volleyball team bests Savannah State, tops Fordham in S.C.


By Jocelyn VerVelde, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Tennessee Tech volleyball team went 2-0 on Saturday, taking down both Savannah State and Fordham to give Dave Zelenock his first wins as a collegiate head coach.

Versus Savannah State

The Golden Eagles opened up in authoritative fashion Saturday morning as they beat Savannah State 3-0 in their second match of the Winthrop Invitational. 

Sophomore Cody Dodd was lights out in set one, tallying eight kills on just nine attempts. Winning the opening set 25-18, the entire offense fed off Dodd's energy, hitting .389 in the first stanza.

Set two was won from the endline as the Tech servers were able to keep the Lady Tigers off balance, opening up on a 8-0 run. The Golden Eagles did not lay off from there, taking a 22-9 lead off an ace from redshirt junior Allison May. Tech won set two 25-15.

Offense was the story again in set three. Junior Ellen Conti led the Golden Eagles in the final game, tallying five kills. Tech as a unit hit .333, winning the set 25-13.

Dodd led the Golden Eagles with 13 kills while hitting .476. Conti and senior Natalie Penrod added eight kills apiece, and senior Elise Robertson added six more while hitting .556. Senior Ashleigh Hancock put up a career-high 32 assists and added eight digs. Junior Christine Maci led the defense with four blocks, followed by Conti who added three as well.

Versus Fordham

The Golden Eagles came out firing in their second match of the day, beating Fordham in four sets, 3-1. 

Set one was tight as Tech and Fordham fought all the way through. After a 4-4 tie, Tech went on a six-point run and never looked back, despite the Rams' best efforts. Tech won the first set by a score of 25-21 behind senior Elise Robertson and Ellen Conti, who each had three kills. 

Fordham gained the advantage in set two, winning 25-19.

Tech came firing back in set three. Hitting .310, Robertson and Conti added another three kills apiece. Junior Madison Keyes provided a huge spark off the bench racking up four blocks and two kills. The team defense was sparked by her blocks, resulting in six total team blocks in the set. Tech took set three 25-18.

The Golden Eagles continued its dominate presence at the front, netting four more blocks. Sophomore Cody Dodd, senior Natalie Penrod, and Conti added three kills each in the final set to put the Rams away. Dodd put the exclamation point on the match on set point with a kill blasted off the defenders face. 

Conti led the team with 14 kills, adding 11 digs and four blocks. Robertson finished the game with 10 kills, hitting .471 while adding four blocks. Senior Ashleigh Hancock bested her career-high from earlier in the day by dishing out 38 assists.

Dodd finished a stellar weekend with eight kills, six blocks, four aces, and six digs against Fordham, hitting .471. The sophomore was named to the All-Tournament team. Junior Courtney Smith joined Dodd on the All-Tournament Team, tallying 15 digs in the final match. Tech finished the weekend 2-1.

The Golden Eagles return to action next weekend at the Akron Invitational where they open up with host Akron at 12 p.m. CDT.