By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team put on a strong show in its first action against an opponent this season, downing the Lipscomb Bison, 3-2 (16-25, 30-28, 25-17, 19-25, 15-13), Saturday afternoon in Allen Arena.
"That was a great win for us. It's unfortunate that it doesn't count on the official 'win' board, but we know what happened," expressed head coach Jeannette Waldo. "It wasn't a clean win, but we had the opportunity to see our team have to grit it out and really work together. We saw some new players really step up in high-pressure situations and we learned where we need to grow through practices this week."
The Bison took the early lead as they took a 25-16 victory to open the match. However, Tech battled back in the following set as they would hold the lead for much of the set. Following a 19-15 Tech lead, Lipscomb answered with a 9-1 run to come within set point. The Golden Eagles then responded with a 4-0 run of their own to tie things up at 24 and send the set into extra points. The two squads battled back-and-forth until a block and a kill would knot the match at one, 30-28.
The Golden Eagles led early in the third set and eventually held a three-point advantage halfway through, 15-12. Tech would dominate the remainder of the set as they would close out on a 10-5 run to seal the 25-17 victory.
Lipscomb would not go down without a fight. The Bison took another early lead and would maintain that lead throughout the fourth set as they would tie up the match once more and send the game to a decisive final set, 25-19.
However, the Golden Eagles were determined in the final set taking an 8-6 lead before switching sides. Tech would maintain their two-point advantage as they eventually took the set 15-13, winning the match 3-2.
Madeline Furtado led the Golden Eagles offensively with nine kills, followed closely by Ali Verzani, Dallas Oatis, and Taylor Dorsey, who tallied eight kills each. Carly Skrabak led the team in digs with 24, while Oatis and Morgan Gish dominated at the net with six blocks apiece, including a solo block each.
"Madi stepped up today by playing six rotations and providing a back-row attack as well as balancing the offense in the front row," said Waldo. "She played aggressive consistently, which is what we asked our attackers to do. This match wasn't an offensive win for us, but Madi's ball control was present in high-pressure situations allowing us to side-out more efficiently."
The Golden Eagles will be back in action on Friday, Aug. 30 as they open the season in Ann Arbor, Michigan against Northern Arizona at noon and Oakland at 4 p.m. Tech will close the Michigan Invitational the following day against host Michigan at 1 p.m.
Photo by Thomas Corhern