Golden Eagles fall to Gamecocks in OVC opener

Golden Eagles fall to Gamecocks in OVC opener

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – After going 2-1 on the weekend in the Golden Eagle Invitational, Tech volleyball (4-10, 0-1 OVC) had a short turnaround as they opened Ohio Valley Conference play on Wednesday, falling in a road tilt against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (7-6, 1-0 OVC) in straight sets (25-15, 25-18, 25-23).

Ali Verzani recorded a team-high eight kills. Carly Skrabak and Taylor Dorsey led the team defensively, tallying match-highs of 13 digs and four blocks, respectively. Ashley Hand garnered a team-high 24 assists in the loss.

The opening frame began with a pair of Jacksonville State points, but the Golden Eagles battled back to bring the set even at four. Tech would keep things close as the Gamecocks only held a one-point advantage at 10-9, but Jacksonville State would rally and close out the set on a 15-6 run to lead 1-0, 25-15.

Tech opened the second on a 3-1 run, which included a kill from Verzani and a solo block from Hand, to take the early lead. The Golden Eagles would keep the set within one, 9-8, but the Jacksonville State Gamecocks would close the set on a 16-10 run to take a 2-0 advantage, 25-18.

The Golden Eagles came out with a vengeance in the third set as they went on a 9-3 run to lead the Gamecocks and spark a JSU timeout. The Golden Eagles would continue to pressure the Gamecocks and would eventually extend their lead to seven following a Morgan Gish kill, 14-7. However, JSU would respond with a 4-1 run to cut Tech's lead to four before the Golden Eagles would call a timeout. The Gamecocks would slowly knock away at Tech's lead until they would eventually knot things up at 19 apiece. The Gamecocks would then finish off the match on a 6-4 run to seal the three-set victory, 25-23.

Tech returns home Saturday as they host the Southeast Missouri Redhawks for their OVC home opener. First serve is set for 2 p.m.