By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tech volleyball fell in both contests against No. 24 Louisville and Arizona State to open the Fleur de Lis Tournament hosted by the University of Louisville at the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday.
In the tournament opener, junior Ali Verzani led the Golden Eagles with six kills in the match, followed closely by freshman Dallas Oatis, who collected five. Verzani also led the Golden Eagles on the defensive end, tallying a match-high 14 digs in the contest, while freshman Carly Skrabak tallied 12. Sophomore Ashley Hand dished out a match-high 15 assists for the Golden Eagles. Sophomore Madi Furtado would lead Tech in blocks with three, followed by sophomore Taylor Dorsey and Oatis with two apiece.
The Cardinals got out to a quick start as they would take a 6-2 lead, however, the Golden Eagles responded making Louisville commit an attack error, in addition to earning a block and securing a kill from Dorsey to bring the game within one, 6-5. But the Cardinals would take things away once again as they eventually took the 25-14 opening frame.
Tech came out to play to open the second set, tallying three services aces from Verzani and Skrabak, as well as a kill from Verzani and Oatis and a Cardinal service error to take a 6-3 advantage. However, a pair of Louisville kills and a Cardinal service ace would knot things back up at six and then again at eight. The Cardinals gained the lead and would eventually hold a 23-14 advantage, before Tech would outscore the Cardinals 3-2 to close out the set, but Louisville took the two-set advantage heading into the third.
The Golden Eagles would take the early lead again in the third set, taking a 9-6 advantage over Louisville. The Cardinals responded to even the set out at 11. Louisville would maintain the lead before closing the set out on an 8-2 run to take the 25-15 victory and close out the three-set affair.
Sophomore Madi Furtado led the Golden Eagles offensively against Arizona State with 11 kills and hitting .194. Dorsey also had a really great game for Tech as she hit for a match-high .353 and notched eight kills. Hand led Tech with 15 assists and Skrabak held down the back row with 18 digs in the contest.
In the opening frame against Arizona State, the Sun Devils scored six unanswered to take an early 6-0 lead. Tech would then go on a 6-3 run to bring the game back within three, but the Sun Devils maintained control as they would hold off the Golden Eagles on a 13-10 run following a 15-9 Arizona State lead to take the 1-0 lead, 25-22.
The Golden Eagles would trade 2-0 runs with Arizona State to open the second set with a 2-2 tie. However, the Sun Devils would retake the lead and not relinquish it in route to a 25-15 victory and the 2-0 advantage.
Arizona State secured a lead in the third set and would hold on to eventually take the final stanza 25-15 and take the three-set victory.
The Golden Eagles will look to close out the Fleur de Lis Tournament on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. as they take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Photo by Thomas Corhern