By Holly Weber, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—Not only was it the final home match of the 2016 season for the Tennessee Tech volleyball team (7-20, 3-11 OVC), but it was also Senior Day for three Golden Eagle seniors: Alyssa Povey, Sharon Anderson, and Kennedy Wade. The three Tech players were honored before the match began and received a special video message from USA Volleyball's Erik Shoji.
Tech fell in three sets to in-state rival Belmont (14-11, 8-6 OVC) in Saturday evening's matchup; the Bruins claiming winning set scores of 28-26, 25-18, and 25-15.
Belmont opened up set one with a slight two-point lead at 8-6 with a kill by Alexa Nichols. The Golden Eagles fought back to tie the set at 14-14 with a kill by freshman Abigail Duncan. After that, the Bruins went on a 4-0 run to once again take the lead at 18-14, however, Tech quickly fought back and went on their own 4-0 run to tie the set back up at 18-18. From there, the two teams commenced in a seesaw affair, holding within one point of each other up until 26-26. With that, Belmont broke the chain and tallied two back-to-back points with a kill by Nichols and Arianna Person to sneak out a first set victory at 28-26 over Tech.
Set two started off in favor of the Golden Eagles, who opened play with a four-point advantage at 9-5 with a kill by Duncan. However, the Bruins were determined to keep things interesting as they battled back to tie the set up at 11-11. From there, Belmont continued to take a four-point lead at 15-11 with a block by Courtlyn Ison. Heading into the latter part of the set, the Bruins extended their lead to 20-15 before sealing a second set victory at 25-18 with a kill by Person.
A score of 9-8 began set three to Belmont's slight advantage. The Bruins continued to play strong and extended their lead out to 15-9. The Golden Eagles pulled back within three points at 15-12, however, Belmont went on a late set surge to close out a third set and match victory at 25-15 with a kill by Person.
Duncan notched her first career double-double in the match, leading Tech with 13 kills and 13 digs and a .208 hitting percentage. Seniors Kennedy Wade gathered 23 digs and Sharon Anderson posted 17 assists. Person led Belmont, notching a double-double in the contest with 12 kills and 16 digs. Fellow Bruin teammate Nichols posted a match-high 18 kills with a .552 hitting percentage, while Emma Price tallied 42 assists.
As a team, Belmont hit .259 to Tech's .095. The Bruins also tallied 52 kills, 46 assists, 80 digs, and 7.0 blocks to the Golden Eagle's 34 kills, 32 assists, 74 digs, and 6.0 blocks.
Tech returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 8, when the Golden Eagles travel to Jacksonville State for a 7 p.m. contest.
Photo by Jim Dillon