Tennessee State Volleyball advances to OVC semis

Courtesy of Scott Wallace, Tennessee State Athletics

MARTIN, TN. — For the first time since 2015, the Tennessee State University Tiger Volleyball Team has won a game in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. After winning the first two sets vs. #3 seed Morehead State, the # 6 seeded Tigers held on to take a five-set victory (26-24, 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 15-9). TSU will now take on OVC newcomer #7 Lindenwood University who upset #2 seed Tennessee Tech in straight sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-11).

“Today we figured out how to make the proper adjustments and still keep our foot on the gas,” said TSU head coach Donika Sutton. “We had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’m glad that we were able to get this hump. Thinking that we can’t do it, but we can. Now we can concentrate on our next match.”

The two teams split in a weekend series at Lindenwood. In their first matchup on October 14, the Tigers used a balanced attack to take down Lindenwood in four sets (25-20, 25-13, 24-26, 25-21). Aleksandra Rojecka finished with 10 kills on the day to lead the Tiger offense. Rojecka, Celestial Miller and Kennedy Davis had 10.5 points apiece.  Defensively, TSU had two players reach double figures in digs. Gina Rivera-Ortizhad 18 and Sofia Garcia-Guerrios had 14 to go with her 16 assists to give her a double-double. From the front row, Kennedy Davis contributed five blocks.

The next night, it was all Lindenwood as the Lions shut down the Tigers in straight sets (25-27, 21-25, 15-25). TSU was held to a .132 hitting percentage in the loss. Johanna Alcantarafinished with 13 kills on the day to lead the Tiger offense while finishing with a hitting percentage of .353. Defensively, TSU had two players reach double figures in digs as Gina Rivera-Ortiz had 15 and Sofia Garcia-Guerrios had 10. Garcia-Guerrios also had 16 assists to give her a double-double.

The Matchup: #7 Lindenwood University Lions (12-16, 8-10) vs. #6 Tennessee State Tigers (17-15, 10-8 OVC).
Date/Time:  Friday, November 18 || 3:00 p.m. (CST)
Location: Skyhawk Fieldhouse | Martin, Tennessee
Live Stats:     https://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=436954
Live Video:      https://www.espn.com/watch/player?id=b10016cb-d4c5-43ec-84e8-66fc8c0a7034

SCOUTING THE TIGERS (First round stars)

SCOUTING THE LIONS (First round stars)

  • The Lions as a team had a .330 hitting percentage.
  • The Lions had 10 services aces.
  • Mackenzi Sifuentes tied for the team lead in kills with 10 and had a .643 hitting percentage.
  • Abby VanBuskirk had a match high 31 assists.

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