COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech volleyball closed out their three-game homestand on Wednesday in a four-set defeat against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at the Hooper Eblen Center.
"We need a little more offense with fewer errors, we needed a little more aggressive serves and a few less miss serves. That's something we've been working on, is being a little more aggressive from the service line and from an offensive state," expressed head coach Jeannette Waldo. "You are going to make a few more mistakes when that happens, but we just need to find a more consistent state. Moving forward, we have a couple more practices before we play UT Martin, so hopefully we can find a little more consistency before we take the court on Saturday."
Two Golden Eagles notched double-digit performances with Ali Verzani leading the way with 17 kills, while Rachel Thomas collected 10 kills and hit a team-high .318. Ashley Hand collected a team-high 41 assists, while also adding a team-high 13 digs to earn her 12th double-double of the season. Defensively, freshman Carly Skrabak and senior Abigail Duncan tallied double-digit digs with 10 apiece. Sophomore Taylor Dorsey picked up a team-high seven blocks in the match.
Tech came out hot in the opening set, going on a 4-1 run following a 5-5 tie to take a 9-6 lead early. The Gamecocks would cut the lead down to two, 10-8, but Tech would then score four-straight to take a six-point advantage, 14-8. Tech would tack on one more to eventually lead by eight, 20-12, before a Jacksonville State rally would cut the deficit in half to make it four, 22-18. Both squads would tally three points apiece to eventually end the set and give Tech the 1-0 lead, 25-21.
The second set was a back-and-forth battle as the set remained tied at 11-11, before the Golden Eagles would score three to make it 14-11 and spark a Jacksonville State timeout. Tech held a three-point advantage through 19-16, but the Gamecocks went on a 4-0 run to retake the lead, before the Golden eagles would even things at 20. Jacksonville State would benefit off a Tech error, but the Golden Eagles tallied a pair of points on a Verzani kill and a Gamecock error to retake the lead 22-21. However, the Gamecocks would tally a kill and take advantage of three Golden Eagle errors on a 4-1 run to even the match 1-1, 25-23.
The Gamecocks carried the momentum into the third as they outscored Tech 7-3 to open the set. The eventually extended the lead to six, 14-8, but the Golden Eagles continued to battle as they eventually closed the gap to one, 19-18. But a 6-3 Jacksonville State run closed out the set and gave the Gamecocks the 2-1 advantage, 25-21.
After an early Jacksonville State lead, 6-4, the Golden Eagles picked up kills from Dallas Oatis and Morgan Gish, as well as a Gamecock error to take their first lead of the fourth, 7-6. The Gamecocks would retake the lead and hold it until the Golden Eagles would even things up at 19 on a Gamecock error. Tech would maintain the lead through 21-20, but Jacksonville State outscored the Golden Eagles 5-2 to take the four-set victory, 25-23.
Tech opens their final road trip of the year this weekend as they travel to UT Martin on Saturday, November 2, before closing out their road slate the following weekend against Morehead State on Friday, November 8 and Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, November 9.