By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Ticking off its last few home matches of 2017, Tennessee Tech hosted Southeast Missouri on Friday night at the Hooper Eblen Center.
Tech ended up falling to the Redhawks in three sets (21-25, 13-25, 26-28).
The Golden Eagles forced SEMO (10-15, 5-7 OVC) to extra points in the final set, hitting a match-high .204 along with 17 kills.
"We put a lineup out there that we've never practiced, so that's why it was a little confusing at the beginning," said head coach Dave Zelenock. "Lexi (Kingree) makes a different offense. She's so high that the ball comes out and our offense gets faster just because she's 6-2, and then she brings the ability to attack, which helped us out quite a bit. We struggled to pass in that second set quite a bit but in the third, we passed pretty great, and that's why we got some kids going there."
Kingree, a redshirt freshman, appeared in just her seventh match of her career, collecting three kills, 10 assists and six digs.
Overall, Rachel Thomas paced Tech offensively, hitting a staggering .500 with 12 kills on 18 attempts. She also added five digs, tying her season-high. Shealene Little helped out Tech's defense with 17 digs, while libero Kirsten Brugere had 14.
Thomas opened the match with a kill, and SEMO answered with three-straight points. The Redhawks built a 10-5 lead, which Tech chipped into with its own three-point run. The Golden Eagles trailed just 12-11 before another timely run by SEMO gave the visitors a 15-11 advantage. SEMO would score consecutive points just once more in the set, but it was enough to give them the set win 25-21.
Tech kicked off the following set with a pair of kills and another pair of SEMO attack errors to lead 4-0, but SEMO would respond with three scores. The Golden Eagles tacked on three more points before the Redhawks exploded for a 12-1 run, putting them ahead 15-8. After an Abigail Duncan kill, SEMO added another seven-straight points to lead 22-9. It would continue on to win the set 25-13, leading two sets to none entering intermission.
Tech built a sizable 12-7 lead over SEMO midway through the third set, adding on to it after a Redhawk timeout to lead 17-9. After another timeout, SEMO began its comeback, going on a 7-2 run to trail just 19-16 and force a Tech timeout. The Redhawks would eventually tie the set at 20-20, and the score swung back and forth until two Tech attack errors gave SEMO the set win at 28-26.