Volleyball Still Looking for First Conference Win of 2013 Campaign

Coming off a tough loss last weekend in their home opener, the Golden Eagles will continue OVC play today as they head west for a 7 p.m. matchup against UT Martin.

Tech recorded its first OVC loss last Friday in a nail-biting 3-2 finish against Murray State.

The Golden Eagles played one point ahead for most of the first set as they traded points with Murray State until the 21-20 mark, when they fell to a close 25-23 loss.

Freshman Sharon Anderson was given the reins in the second set and led the Golden Eagle offense to a 25-19 second set win.

“I decided to give up a little bit of the defense and just put up more kills,” said head coach Dave Zelenock.

A loss in the third set sent the fourth set into chaos as the TTU fans were given a yellow card shortly after MurrayState senior Katlyn Hudson was ejected. However, the chaos did not keep the   Golden Eagles from taking the fourth set. The team closed the set with a 25-21 win. 

Tech sat tied 2-2 going into the fifth and final set. Four straight Murray State kills gave the Racers a 5-point lead in the fifth that lead to the Golden Eagles’ defeat. 

After coming up short of a victory on last Friday, Tech was unable to get its offense going as they lost 3-1 against Austin Peay on Saturday. 

“Going into the weekend I was actually more nervous about Austin Peay than I was Murray,” said Zelenock.  “I really felt the match was in our control but we gave away to many errors.”

Zelenock said they need to focus on playing their own game after tallying another OVC loss to Jacksonville State on Tuesday.

“We’re working on being us a little more,” said Zelenock.  “We went into a very tough environment Tuesday and we played really slow, which is uncharacteristic of ourselves.  We played to the speed of our opponent rather than just being us.”

After falling to 0-3 in the conference, Zelenock said he thinks today’s matchup will be better as the Golden Eagles look to record their first OVC win.

“UT Martin is a good team and they’re well coached.  I think it is going to be a battle,” said Zelenock.  “They also play like us and I think our chances are a lot better.

The Golden Eagles have lost nine of 12 sets in the past three matches by an average of only 3.7 points. Senior Natalie Penrod said the team is trying to fix this.

“We are letting wins slip right out of our hands.  Once we can figure out how to play 22 points on, we will be unstoppable,” said Penrod.