Another close one for Golden Eagles, but Austin Peay edges Tech 3-1
By Jocelyn VerVelde, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Golden Eagle volleyball team (4-8, 0-2) fell to Austin Peay (4-13, 1-1) in an Ohio Valley Conference match up Saturday afternoon. Tech was able to snag set two, but lost in four sets to the Lady Govs, 24-26, 25-19, 25-27, and 21-25.
In the fourth and deciding set, The Lady Govs took the advantage at 10-9 off a kill by junior middle blocker Hillary Plybon, and they never looked back, taking the set, 25-21. Plybon appeared in only the final two sets for Austin Peay, but proved to be a difference maker as she tallied nine kills on 14 swings without an error.
Assiting Plybon on offense were junior middle blocker Liz Landon, with a team-high 13 kills, and junior outside hitter Jada Stotts, with 11 kills. Junior setter Cami Fields directed the offense with 45 assists.
Tech saw three players record double-doubles in the match. Junior outside Ellen Conti put down 16 kills and added 10 digs, senior outside hitter Natalie Penrod tallied a team-high 17 kills, while tallying 12 digs, as well. Senior setter Ashleigh Hancock dished out a career-high 53 assists and added a team-high and career-high 14 digs. Freshman Kennedy Wade dug a career-high 13 balls. Junior middle blocker Madison Keyes and senior opposite hitter Elise Robertson both hit for impressive clips of .353 while putting down nine and eight kills, respectively. Sophomore Cody Dodd added 11 kills.
From the beginning, Tech was never able to get its offense going in set one, tallying 11 team kills while Austin Peay earned 21 of their 25 points. The Lady Govs took the set 26-24.
Set two was handled by the Golden Eagles as they led the entire way. With 17 kills and a team hitting percentage of .308, Tech's offense was on fire as it earned 22 of its 25 points. The TTU defense was not too shabby, either, holding the Lady Govs to an .048 hitting percentage and just eight kills in the entire set. Tech took set two, 25-19.
Tech controlled set three, including a 24-22 lead, but was not able to close the set. Austin Peay rallied and tied the match, and with a few forced errors and timely kills, the Govs were able to pull out set three, 27-25.
Despite losing the match, the Golden Eagles tallied 63 kills to just 52 from the Lady Govs, and bested the visitors in almost every statistical category except aces (Tech 5, Peay 6) and blocks (Tech 7, Peay 10).
The Tennessee Tech volleyball team will be back in action looking to earn its first OVC wins as they head to Jacksonville State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CDT, and then UT Martin on Friday at 7 p.m.