By Jocelyn VerVelde, Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Despite opening up aggressively on offense, it just was not enough as the Tennessee Tech volleyball team lost the Ohio Valley Conference match with Eastern Kentucky, 3-0.
Tech was led by junior Ellen Conti who put down 11 kills and added 7 digs. Sophomore Cody Dodd and junior Madison Keyes added eight kills each, while hitting .429 and .227, respectively. Senior Ashleigh Hancock dished out 38 assists and junior Courtney Smith cleaned up the backcourt by tallying 20 digs.
Eastern Kentucky saw outside hitter Ashley Edmond put down a match-high 22 kills, on a .383 hitting percentage. Setter Abbey Cvelbar tallied 37 assists and libero Dena Ott registered 24 digs.
Tallying 17 kills in the opening set, the Golden Eagles looked poised to take charge. However the Colonels had other plans. While the Colonels put down two less kills in set one, their blistering .351 hitting percentage out-shown the Golden Eagles impressive .267 percentage. A late replay on what looked to be a Dodd service ace, which would have made the score 23-23, led to a re-serve by the 6-4 sophomore, in which the Colonels executed their offense and put away a kill to make the score 24-22 instead. Eastern Kentucky took the opening set, 25-23.
Both sets' two and three, the Golden Eagles found themselves in a hole. However, in both sets their fight caught them back up.
Down 10-2 in set two, Tech was able to close the gap by generating offense. Out-hitting the opponent, 15 kills to 13, a balanced offense led by Hancock put the pressure on the Colonels late in the set. However it was not enough as the Golden Eagles made untimely errors to drop the set 25-21.
In set three, the Colonels stepped on the gas early and never let up. Unable to find a way to put the ball way, the Golden Eagles only put away nine kills in the set and were never able to close the gap closer than six points. The Colonels found an offensive rhythm in the closing set, putting away 17 kills on a .429 hitting percentage, and took the set and the match on a 25-17 set three.
The Golden Eagles travel to SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois next weekend. They will challege SIUE on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. CT and EIU on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.