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November 7, 2008

Golden Eagles travel in final two regular season weekends

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - It might be Homecoming on the Tennessee Tech campus this weekend, but for the Golden Eagle volleyball team, looking to capture the OVC championship, it's a long, hard road ahead.

Tech, currently first in the OVC with a 12-2 league record, finishes the regulars eason with four tough road matches, beginning this weekend at Southeast Missouri and Eastern Illinois.

"We got some tough matches still ahead," said head coach John Blair. "We need to play at our best to finish strong in the OVC."

The Golden Eagles visit Cape Girardeau, Mo., for a Friday night showdown with one of the hottest teams in the Ohio Valley Conference right now. Southeast Missouri is currently on a four-match win streak and will look to avenge an earlier season loss to Tech, 3-0. Claire Keaton leads the Redhawks with 264 kills on the season while Molly Davis leads the team with 359 digs.

The next day, Tech travels back across the Mississippi River and visits Eastern Illinois for a match against the Panthers. EIU is currently 1-13 in the conference and 4-21 overall. The Golden Eagles downed the Panthers earlier this season when they visited the Eblen Center, 3-0.

This season the Golden Eagles have come out strong in the OVC, holding onto a one match lead over Morehead State and two match lead over Austin Peay. Tech owns the tie-breaker over both schools, via their 3-0 wins over the teams in the past two weekends.

Offensively the Golden Eagles are lead by sophomore Leah Meffert who takes her 263 kills into this weekend. Meffert was also named the OVC Offensive Player of the Week after helping Tech take over sole possession of first place in the OVC.

Senior Kappy Lang is the force behind the offensive dishing out 940 assists this season while also serving up a team leading 23 aces. Lang has been named the OVC Setter of the Week seven times this season and is leading the conference in overall assists this season.

For the defensive side of the net, junior Katie Kenline is leading the effort with 449 digs on the season, averaging 5.16 per set. She had also been named OVC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and leads the OVC in digs.

Not to be outdone, seniors Caitlin Bullock and Jessica Asplund have been putting up the blocking numbers to rival top programs. Bullock has 68 blocks this season while Asplund has 62. Asplund was also named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 13 when she had 14 blocks in seven games.

Tech finishes up the regular season next weekend with matches at UT Martin and Murray State, hoping to claim the team's first regualr season crown since 1983.