The Golden Eagles’ final regular season match of the year and Senior Day both took place Nov. 15, as the team battled University of Tennessee at Martin.
Before the start of the match, Tech took time to honor the seniors — Ellen Conti, Madison Keyes, Allison Man and Courtney Smith — with a time where their other teammates presented gifts to the departing players.
As for the match, it consisted of Tech trying to hold off a pesky UT Martin team that played with a lot of heart. Tech had already clinched a spot in the OVC Tournament, but the result of this game could possibly affect their seed in the tournament.
The first set would set the tone and tempo for the remainder of the night for the Golden Eagles. Senior Madison Keyes emerged as a dominant force in the first set with four kills and no errors out of five total attempts, resulting in an .800 hitting percentage. Junior Cody Dodd would also prove to be a main part of the first-set success adding six kills of her own. Meanwhile, Tech sophomore Sharon Anderson tallied 11 assists and five digs in the first. Tech would go on to win the first set 25-19.
Tech would go on to win the second set 25-21 with some help from freshman Kellie Williams who added five kills to her total that led the team with eight and had a hitting percentage of .294 in the first two sets.
The Skyhawks would come out of the half with some vengeance. UT Martin would have 13 kills and three service aces that added to their rally to win the third set 25-20 to prevent Tech, who had a match-low .040 hitting percentage for the set, from winning the match in straight-sets.
However, the Golden Eagles would prove to be too much for the Skyhawks. Keyes would continue the dominance she showed in the first set, adding four more kills and finishing the match 9.5 points and an errorless team-high .615 hitting percentage. Senior Courtney Smith would prevail with a team-high 22 digs in a match where the Golden Eagles would combine for 74 digs.
Dodd and Smith would both finish with solid matches and solidify their spots in winning the OVC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. The Golden Eagles finished the regular season with an overall record of 14-18 and a 9-7 OVC record, only losing two games in Hooper Eblen Center.
Tech scored a fifth seed spot in the OVC tournament, their first appearance since 2010.
A few ranks stood out nationally for the Golden Eagles. Smith finished the season ranked 25th in the nation in digs per set, while Dodd ranked 34th in aces per set.