COOKVILLE, Tenn. - Led by tournament MVP Kappy Lang and balanced
offense from the middle and the outside, the Tennessee Tech
volleyball team captured the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference tournament
championship Saturday night in Eblen Center, earning the league's
automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament in December.
Tech dropped a two-point decision in the first set, 25-23, and also fell by two points in the fourth set, 26-24. The Golden Eagles had earned a 2-1 lead by claiming the second set 25-15 and the third by a 25-20 margin.
In the fifth and deciding set, Tech scored points to break ties at 9-9, 10-10 and 11-11. The Golden Eagles went up 13-11 on back-to-back kills by Jess Asplund and Caitlin Bullock, then clinched the victory on a powerful kill by Amanda Lindgren for the 15-12 win.
With the win, Tech improves to 19-11 overall and won the league's challenge match next Saturday at the University of Louisville. After that, Tech will play in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the program's history.
Lang was named tourney MVP after dishing up 62 assists and getting 13 digs, along with four kills and two service aces. She distributed her sets to a variety of hitters, with four Golden Eagles reaching double figures in kills. Tech hit .259 while Murray State hit .186.
Junior outside hitter Amanda Lindgren led the attack with 20 kills and a .250 hitting mark along with 14 digs, while sophomore Leah Meffert hit .333 and added 16 kills. The OVC Player of the Year, Meffert also had a team-high 24 digs.
Also in double digits, sophomore Marie Peddicord had 15 kills and senior middle Asplund added 13 kills while hitting .320. Caitlin Bullock had seven kills and led Tech with five blocks. Meffert and Asplund had four blocks each.
Katie Kenline, the OVC Defensive Player of the Year, had 21 off Tech's 90 digs in the contest.
Sara Hayden topped Murray State with 17 kills, while Logan Su added 16 kills. Becca Lamb also reached double figures in kills with 10. Setter Jade Guo had 45 assists and 10 digs, one of five Racers in double figures on the back row as Murray came up with 78 digs.
Kayleah Sauer topped MSU with 24 digs and Allison Mugler added 15.