Tech falls in five sets to OVC-leading Jacksonville State

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - A little more than a month ago, Tennessee Tech was up 2-1 on Jacksonville State but could not finish off the Gamecocks as the Golden Eagles lost in five sets. On Friday evening, Tech was in even better position, ahead 2-0, but it was the same result as the team fell again in five sets (18-25, 23-25, 25-18, 30-28, 15-13).

After winning the first two sets, the Golden Eagles (9-14, 8-6 OVC) dropped the third set to set up a climactic fourth set.

In the fourth, Tech fell behind 12-7 midway through the stanza before junior Melanie Culp served six consecutive points for the Golden Eagles, putting TTU ahead 13-12. The teams played even until, with the scored tied 17-17, junior Marie Peddicord put down a pair of kills during the three-point run by the Golden Eagles to give TTU a 20-17 advantage.

Tech maintained the lead until 24-22 and had a pair of match points, but JSU (21-5, 14-0 OVC) clawed its way back into the match by scoring three straight points and taking a 25-24 lead. The Golden Eagles fought off four set points until, with the score 29-28 in favor of JSU, the Gamecocks put down a kill to take the set, 30-28.

In the fifth set, Jacksonville State jumped out to a three-point lead, 9-6, before Tech came back to cut the deficit to one, 10-9, on a JSU attack error. JSU had two set points with the score 14-12, and the Golden Eagles were able to fend off one on a kill by Peddicord, but a JSU kill gave the Gamecocks the match, 15-13.

Tech was led by Peddicord and junior Leah Meffert who both finished with 16 kills. Peddicord hit a match-high .484 and also had a solo block for the Golden Eagles, while Meffert hit .333 and also finished with 12 digs for her 17th double-double of the season.

Senior Amanda Lindgren finished with 13 kills and four blocks for TTU, and senior Teresa Craig posted nine kills and 13 digs for Tech.

The Golden Eagle defense was led by freshman Kelsey Gray who had a match-high eight blocks, including three solo stuffs. Senior Katie Kenline led the Tech back row with 22 digs to extend her double-digit digs streak to 21 matches.

For the match, Tech led in hitting percentage (.283-204) and blocks (11-4), while JSU held an advantage in kills (78-61), service aces (8-2) and digs (84-69).

The Golden Eagles will return home next weekend for its final two matches at the Eblen Center this season. Tech will take on Tennessee State on Friday, Nov. 6 before playing Austin Peay on Saturday, Nov. 7 for Senior Day.