November 7, 2009

Golden Eagles fight until the end, fall short on Senior Day

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Tech volleyball team honored its three seniors prior to Saturday afternoon's match against Austin Peay but fell just short of sending the trio off with a win in their last match at Eblen Center. Tech battled until the very end but lost in four sets to the Lady Govs (24-26, 25-21, 20-25, 25-27).

Austin Peay improves to 20-8 overall, 13-3 OVC with the win, while Tech drops to 10-15 overall, 9-7 OVC. The Golden Eagles completed their home schedule on Saturday and finished the season 5-4 at Eblen Center.

Down 2-1 in the match, Tech got off to a slow start in the fourth stanza. The Lady Govs put together several runs and jumped out to a commanding 19-6 lead. However, there was a lot of fight left in the Golden Eagles as they went on an 8-1 run to close the deficit to 20-15. Senior Amanda Lindgren put down four kills during the stretch.

After the teams exchanged points, Tech scored three straight on a pair of kills by freshman Katrina Dvorken and ace by junior Laura Pierce. APSU stopped the TTU run and had two match points, but a Tennessee Tech block and subsequent attack error by the Lady Govs tied the match at 24-24.

The two teams exchanged points to make the score 25-25, but Austin Peay was able to convert on the next two points to capture the set and match, 27-25.

"The team really showed the depth of its character," said John Blair, Golden Eagles head coach. "We had our backs against the wall, but to come back from down 13 points to tie the match at 24-24 showed a lot of character."

Senior Katie Kenline led the defense with a match-high 30 digs, while Lindgren totaled 12 kills and two solo blocks in the match. Senior Teresa Craig finished with six kills, two blocks, eight digs and an ace.

"Those three [seniors] have been major contributors since they walked in the gym," Blair said. "They are going to leave some big holes to fill. They have embedded themselves both in this program and in the campus community."

Offensively, Tech was led by junior Leah Meffert who finished with 17 kills and a .292 hitting percentage. Meffert added a team-high five blocks (three solo) and 16 digs for her 10th consecutive game with a double-double.

Tech next takes the court at Morehead State on Friday, November 13. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

"We're going to go back to work and concentrate on getting better each day," Blair said. "It's important to win matches down the stretch so we can put ourselves in a position to make a run in the OVC tournament."