By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
RICHMOND, Ky. – Tennessee Tech completed the season sweep over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday as the Golden Eagles earned a straight-set victory, 3-0 (28-26, 25-18, 25-22), over the Colonels at McBrayer Arena.
The Golden Eagles improve to 11-16 overall and 7-7 in OVC play, while Eastern Kentucky falls to 9-19 on the season and 4-10 in league play.
Three Golden Eagles tallied double-digit kills in the contest with junior Ali Verzani leading the charge with 15. Sophomore Taylor Dorsey and senior Rachel Thomas joined Verzani with 13 kills and 11 kills, respectively. Verzani also tied for the match-high in digs with 13, marking her 15th double-double of the season and tying fellow teammate senior Abigail Duncan and a pair of Colonels. Sophomore Ashley Hand helped the Golden Eagles to an impressive .310 hitting clip as a team, dishing out 41 assists. Hand surpassed the 1,000-career assist mark in the contest. Taylor Dorsey picked up a match-high three blocks in the win.
The Golden Eagles opened the contest on a 3-1 run and held a two-point advantage until the Colonels evened things at five. The set remained even through a 9-9 tie, before the Golden Eagles tallied three-straight to lead 12-9. The Colonels would respond on a 4-1 run to tie the set back up at 13. Following a 23-23 tie, the Colonels held the first set-point at 24-23, but the Golden Eagles responded to make it 25-24, before the Colonels would collect a pair of their own to once again hold set-point, 26-25. The Golden Eagles locked-in as a pair of kills from Rachel Thomas and a Colonel attack error would close out the set and give Tech the 1-0 lead, 28-26.
Tech opened the second set on fire as the Golden Eagles went on an 8-0 run to take the early lead. Eastern Kentucky battled back to close the game back within three on a 12-7 run, 15-12. However, that was as close as the set would come as the Golden Eagles closed the set on a 10-6 run to take the 25-18 win and hold the two-set advantage, 2-0.
The Colonels opened the third with the lead taking a 4-1 advantage. The Golden Eagles would respond with a 7-3 run to take the lead 8-7, but Eastern Kentucky would even things at eight. The set remained even through 11 until a 3-0 Tech run would put the Golden Eagles up 14-11. Tech continued to hold a one-point advantage through 22-21, before a 3-1 Tech run would close out the match and seal Tech's sweep, 25-22.
The Golden Eagles will return home next weekend as they close out the regular season, hosting Tennessee State on Friday, November 15 at 7 p.m. before they host Belmont on Saturday at 2 p.m. for Senior Day.
Photo by Thomas Corhern