By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech volleyball earned a dominant 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21) sweep over the Belmont Bruins on Friday evening at the Curb Event Center.
Tech (7-11, 3-2 OVC) produced its third-best offensive performance of the season as the team hit for .277. As a team, the Golden Eagles dominated the Bruins (2-18, 1-4 OVC) in every statistical category. Tech's defense also shined in the win as they held the Bruins to .169 during the three-set contest.
Senior Rachel Thomas was an absolute threat for the Golden Eagles, hitting a season-high .579 with 14 kills, while also tallying a team-high four blocks. Sophomore Taylor Dorsey was the second Golden Eagle to score double-digits in the contest, recording 11 kills, as she hit for .333, and earning a pair of blocks. Sophomore Ashley Hand dished out a game-high 40 assists en route to Tech's third-best offensive outing of the season. Three Golden Eagles recorded double-digit digs in the contest as Hand led the way with 16, followed by junior Ali Verzani and freshman Carly Skrabak with 13 apiece.
Belmont opened the match on a 5-2 run to take the early lead. Tech immediately responded with a 4-1 run to even the match at six on a Belmont error. Things would remain that way through a 16-16 standstill, before the Golden Eagles would go on a 4-1 run capped by a Hand kill to take a three-point lead, 20-17. The Bruins would cut the deficit back to two, 20-18, but that was as close as it would get before Tech would claim the 25-22 set on a kill from Morgan Gish, 1-0.
The Golden Eagles and Bruins traded leads to open the second before a Bruin attack error evened the set up at five. Tech would outscore Belmont 4-3 to take the 9-8 lead before scoring four-straight to extend its lead to five following another Belmont error, 13-8. Belmont produced a 7-3 run to cut the deficit down to one, 16-15, but Tech locked in and went on a 9-3 scoring run to close out the set with a kill from Verzani and take the two-point advantage, 25-18.
Thomas scored the opening point of the third, but a 4-0 Belmont run gave the Bruins the 4-1 lead. The Golden Eagles responded with a 5-2 rally to bring things even at six on a Gish kill. The Bruins recorded three unanswered to retake a 9-6 lead, but Thomas would score four-straight kills to give Tech its first lead since the opening point, 10-9. Following an 11-11 tie, the Golden Eagles rallied on a 9-4 run to take a five-point lead. Belmont outscored Tech 6-5, but it was too little too late as the Golden Eagles would secure the 25-21 victory and seal the sweep, 3-0.
The Golden Eagles return to action tomorrow as they take on the Tennessee State Tigers at 5 p.m. in Kean Hall. Live stats will be available for tomorrow's contest.
Photo by Thomas Corhern