By Holly Weber, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Tech volleyball team (6-16, 2-7 OVC) fell to the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) (14-6, 7-2 OVC) in three sets on Friday night. The Cougars claimed winning set scores of 25-17, 25-19, and 25-23 over the Golden Eagles.
"It accomplished what we wanted it to, as far as our blocking and our defense goes," head Coach Dave Zelenock remarked on his lineup change. "It looked good and our offense flowed, we just had trouble putting a ball away tonight.
A tie of 6-6 kicked off set one between SIUE and Tech. The Cougars quickly created a six-point lead at 16-10 with a kill by Alicia Streetar. The Golden Eagles then went on a four-point run to pull within two points of SIUE, however, the Cougars got aggressive and went on a 9-3 run to close out a first set victory 25-17 over Tech.
The Golden Eagles held the advantage in the beginning of the second set, creating a five-point lead early on at 8-3. SIUE kept in pursuit of the Tech team and eventually tied the set up at 16-16. From there, the Golden Eagles and Cougars got into a seesaw affair holding ties on and off until 19-19. After that back and forth, SIUE got a second wind and went on a 6-0 to close out to seal a second set victory 25-19 over Tech.
The Cougars opened up set three with a slight two-point advantage at 8-6. The Golden Eagles continued to hold a tight set with SIUE, pulling within one point at 13-12, causing the Cougars to call for a timeout. After the break, SIUE created a three-point lead at 18-15 with a kill by Ashley Witt. Tech remained persistent and came back to tie the set up at 22-22. However, the Cougars held on and snuck out a third set victory 25-23 over the Golden Eagles.
"I thought it went well, especially with it being the first time we tried this rotation. I think we need to play more as a team and communicate better, which we really started to do in the third set, so we just need to come out with that intensity when we open against Eastern Illinois on Saturday," Golden Eagle Shaneice James said.
SIUE hit .119 to Tech's .014. The Cougars also tallied 35 assists, 71 digs, and 13.0 blocks to the Golden Eagle's 28 assists, 62 blocks, and 3.0 blocks.
Shaneice James led the Golden Eagles with 11 kills and a .259 hitting percentage in the contest, while teammates Sharon Anderson tallied 20 assists and Allison Morrett gathered 13 digs. Taylor Joens led the Cougars with 11 kills, six blocks, and a .226 hitting percentage, while teammate Samantha Knight posted 20 assists and 10 digs in the match.
"She's been doing this now for six-seven weeks," Zelenock commented on Shaneice James. "She is very consistent and will score any way she has to, if it's hitting cross body or throwing off the block, or whatever she needs to do."
Tech returns to action on Saturday, when the Golden Eagles host OVC opponent Eastern Illinois in a 5:30 p.m. contest in the Hooper Eblen Center.
Photo by Jim Dillon