By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Morehead State avenged its home loss earlier in the season to Tennessee Tech Friday night in the Hooper Eblen Center, defeating the Golden Eagles in three sets (25-22, 25-17, 26-24).
Tech forced 11 Morehead errors in the third set to help send it to extra points, but the Eagles survived to sweep the match.
"The first two sets, Morehead didn't really give us much," said head coach Dave Zelenock. "They didn't give us those free points that you're used to getting from teams. They played really clean. On our side, we had a real issue in setting. We couldn't locate the ball, so we ended up tipping and throwing a lot, and that's not really our style or our offense. Lexi (Kingree) came out in the third and did a much better job of putting the hitters in good situations. Even though we technically hit lower, we hit. We weren't throwing the ball out of necessity, we actually chose to throw the ball. Good fight, we played good defense and we put them in some tough situations with our serve, but it just didn't shake out our way in the third set."
"It's kind of the story of everyone for the season," said Zelenock. "Both middles were out this week for practice, so we didn't know who we'd even have until game time. This is kind of what's been our m.o. – one of the middles will hit .400 or .500, and the other one will hit .000. We haven't been able to get two people feeling healthy and good at the same time all year in any position really. I expect Rachel (Thomas) to hit .500 tomorrow, so hopefully Neicey can hold this up."
Tech did not allow Morehead State to run away with a big lead in the first set but could not overtake the Eagles in the score. Although Tech hit its best and tallied its most kills (13) in the opening set, Morehead came away with the set win at 25-22.
The Golden Eagles ran out to a 4-2 lead to open the second set, but the Eagles quickly tied the score at 4-4 and took the lead in the next play. Tech tied it up again at 7-7, but a 5-1 Eagle run gave the visitors a 12-8 lead and forced a Tech timeout. The Golden Eagles would close the gap to 14-12 before a four-point run extended Morehead's lead to 18-12. Tech answered with a pair of kills, but another four-point run by Morehead would put the set out of reach. MSU won the set 25-17 and headed into the intermission leading two sets to none.
Tech fell behind 15-8 in the third set and played catch-up to the tune of a 4-0 run, cutting Morehead's lead to 15-12 and forcing an Eagles' timeout. Morehead responded with a kill, but a big 8-2 spurt from the host Golden Eagles put Tech ahead 20-18. The two teams traded points until the score was tied at 24-24. Two points from Morehead ended the set and match at 26-24.