|August 26, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
JOHNSON - 16
CHARLESTON, S.C. --- The Tennessee State volleyball team capped the opening weekend with a 3-2 (27-25, 24-26, 23-25, 25-15, 15-10) victory over USC Upstate on Saturday evening at TD Arena. The win is the first for first-year Head Coach Donika Sutton in her TSU career.
Facing strong competition, the Tigers finished the Hampton Inn and Suites Classic with a 1-2 record. TSU dropped matches to Denver and College of Charleston before bouncing back with Saturday’s victory.
Senior libero Cherlie Adorno-DeJesus, who earned a spot on the All-Tournament team, posted a career-high 37 digs in the win over USC Upstate. Her previous career best was 34 digs against Jacksonville State last season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Tennessee State’s offense was led by 16 kills apiece from sophomore Julia Pierson and senior Alexis Johnson.
- Samantha Beltran also guided the TSU offense in the match with 43 assists.
- In addition to Adorno-DeJesus’ 37 digs, Pierson added 11 to go with her 16 kills for a double-double.
- Curstyn Wilson far exceeded her previous career high by securing 20 digs against USC Upstate, while Beltran and Kylie Hayes recorded 14 digs apiece. Wilson chipped in with a team high five service aces.
SET BY SET
First Set: In a tightly contested first set, TSU trailed by as many as four points after a 4-0 run by the Spartans put TSU in a 20-16 hole. Senior Alexis Johnson swung the momentum back to TSU with three kills as part of a 4-0 stretch for the Tigers to level the scoring. Tennessee State was one point from victory when an attack error tied things up at 25-25. An attack error by USC Upstate followed by a kill from Rachel Henderson gave TSU the 27-25 win in set No. 1.
Second Set: In another back-and-forth set, TSU again found itself down by a 20-16 score. This time, however, the Tigers were not able to recover as USC Upstate went on to pick up a 26-24 win. The Tigers committed nine attack errors in the set.
Third Set: A fast start by the Spartans gave the Tigers a 6-1 deficit early in the third. The Tigers clawed all the way back with a 12-6 run to take a 13-12 advantage. The scoring seesawed until everything was knotted at 22-22. USC Upstate was able to pick up three of the set’s final four points for a 25-23 win.
Fourth Set: TSU used a 12-4 run halfway through the set to gain the upper hand. Holding an 18-11 edge, TSU maintained its distance from the Spartans and finished the 25-14 win with an ace from Wilson and a kill from Johnson.
Fifth Set: The Tigers never trailed in the third set, earning a 15-10 victory to take the match. TSU led by as many as six points on two occasions in the final set.
- Saturday’s match versus USC Upstate was the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
- Earlier in the day, TSU battled Colonial Athletic Conference favorite College of Charleston – eventually falling by a 3-1 final score.
Tennessee State will travel to Bowling Green, Ky. to take on Western Kentucky on Tuesday, Aug. 29.