Tennessee State Volleyball unable to overcome slow start in 3-1 loss to UT Martin

Courtesy of Scott Wallace, Communications Coordinator for Volleyball & Softball, Tennesee State University

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Winner UTM


The Tennessee State Tiger volleyball team had slow starts to each of the four sets and was able to win one but fell to the UT Martin Skyhawks 3-1 (24-26, 25-23, 21-25, 23-25) Tuesday on the road at Skyhawk Fieldhouse. The loss Ohio Valley Conference loss dropped TSU’s record to 2-13 overall and 2-3 in OVC play.

The Tigers offense was paced by Celestial Miller, who finished with 15 kills on the day while accumulating a hitting percentage of .256, and by Kennedy Davis, who had 12 while hitting .455. Defensively, had three players reach double figures in digs, including Celianiz Cabranes’ 19, 17 from Jadyn Webb, and ten more from Alanys Otero. Otero finished with a double-double, adding a game-high 40 assists. Miller just missed recording her second straight double-double by scooping up nine digs. 

Game Notes

» Tennessee State had three players in double figures in digs.
» Johnson had a team-high one ace in the loss.
» Miller had a match-high 15 kills for Tennessee State.
» TSU got a team-high 19 digs from Celianiz Cabranes.
» Tiger attackers were helped by a match-high 40 assists from Alanys Otero.

How It Happened

SET 1 | 26-28 Slow Start Hurts TSU
The Tigers lost the first set 26-24 despite a strong performance on the attacking side. Tennessee State registered a .344 attack percentage with 14 kills in the set loss. The Skyhawks scored the first four points of the set. TSU went on a late 4-1 to set up set point on an ace by Johnson to make the score 24-22. After Martin cut the lead to one, it looked like the Tigers would win a challenge when a call was made against Holcombe for hitting the antenna. The call stood, and the Skyhawks finished the set on a 4-0 run. 

SET 2 | 25-23 Kennedy’s Late Kills Give Tigers Their First Set
Tennessee State evened the match at 1-1 following a 25-23 second-set win. The Tigers trailed by as many as six points but took the lead for good at 23-22 in a set that showcased four lead changes before the Tigers took over in the second half of the stanza. Martin started the set with a 5-1 lead. TSU scratched but tied it at six with a 5-1 run of their own. A 4-0 UTM run made the score 10-6 Martin, forcing a TSU timeout. The Tigers were struggling early, swinging at a -.154 clip. UTM extended the lead to 17-12, forcing the Tigers to call another timeout. Two 3-0 runs helped TSU to claw back, cutting the deficit to 22-20 and forcing Martin to call a timeout. Davis got hot late, getting kills on TSU’s seven of the last eight points. Her effort raised her hitting percentage to .571. UTM committed six service errors to help the Tigers in the set. 

SET 3 | 21-25 Tiger Rally Falls Short
UT Martin responded to win set number three, putting Tennessee State in two sets to one hole. The Tigers came up short by the score of 25-21. Tennessee State trailed by as many as seven points as UT Martin grabbed the advantage for good at 6-5 in a set that was tied up three times before the Skyhawks took over the lead. Martin took a 13-7 lead, forcing the Tigers to call a timeout. TSU cut the lead to three on three occasions but could not get any closer. 

SET 4 | 23-25 TSU Digs a Hole, Cuts it to One, But Can’t Finish 
Tennessee State then fell in the fourth set 25-23 to finish the match. The Tigers lost the first point and never took the lead before falling in the set. For the fourth set in a row, TSU started slow. A 4-0 lead by UTM turned into an 8-2 lead. A 7-1 Tiger run cut the deficit to 10-9. Martin’s 5-1 run gave them an 18-13 lead. Nicole Taylor came in for TSU and sparked a rally with two kills. Her play gave the Tigers life, as they went on a 4-1 run, with Miller getting three kills during the run. With the score at 22-21, UTM took advantage of three straight errors by the Tigers to finish the match. 

The Tigers will have the weekend off before starting a three-game home stand on October 13. 

Next Match:
Southeast Missouri State
10/13/2023 | 6:00 PM

Team Statistics

Game StatsTSUUTM
Hitting %.183.219

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