November 5, 2010
Golden Eagles battle back, overcome Racers in five sets
Photo: Golden Eagle freshman Natalie Penrod powers a
kill through the Murray State block Friday night
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Trailing 2-1 in sets, the Tennessee Tech
volleyball team scratched and clawed its way back to claim an
energizing 3-2 Ohio Valley Conference match from Murray State
Friday night in Eblen Center. Senior Leah Meffert and
Gray keyed the comeback effort as Tech won its second straight
match to open a crucial, season-ending four-match homestand.
"We've been in this kind of situation before," said head coach
John Blair. "We didn't like the previous outcomes so that was a
good source of motivation for us."
The first set remained close early on, but it was the Racers
that were able to open up a 15-11 lead. Murray State would not let
Tech back within two points the rest of the way as it took the
first set 25-20. Gray paced the Golden Eagle offense with four
Tech responded decisively in the second set as it built a
15-10 lead and never looked back to take the set 25-14. Meffert
recorded six kills while senior Melanie Culp
The third set remained tight as both teams were knotted up at
18. The Racers were able to finish the third set on a 7-3
run, behind six kills, to close out the third set 25-21.
With their playoff aspirations on the line, Tennessee Tech
opened the fourth set with a 7-3 lead, only to see the Racers take
the lead 11 points later. Murray State was poised to take the match
as it led 24-21 but an ace and a kill from Meffert, along with a
Racer attack error forced extra points.
Murray got the first point to take a 26-25 lead, but the
Golden Eagles staved off defeat with a kill from freshman Natalie
Penrod. The back and forth contest continued until Tech was able to
put a pair of points together off of two kills from Meffert and
Penrod to take the fourth set 29-27.
"Key people made key plays at the right times," Blair said.
"It really showed the kind of character this teams has."
In the fifth set neither team led by more than two points as
both teams found themselves tied at 13. A block by Gray and a Racer
attack error gave the Golden Eagles the fifth set and the match by
the score of 15-13.
Meffert led Tennessee Tech in kills and digs with 19 and 18,
respectively. Penrod added 13 kills and 11 digs, while Gray posted
16 kills and nine total blocks.
Culp recorded a new career-high in assists as she recorded 63
on the day passing her previous record of 62 that she posted
against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 10, 2009.
Tech hosts UT Martin Saturday at 2 p.m.