- Staff Reporter
MOBILE, Ala. – The Louisiana Tech volleyball team split its Friday matches, falling to South Alabama in straight sets before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over Nicholls.
Madeline Davis and Kaitlyn Adams led the Lady Techsters in their win posting 15 kills and 7 blocks, respectively. Morgan Currie totaled up 32 digs between the two matches to lead Tech on the back line.
“We knew the outcome of the South Alabama match would be based primarily on how well we handled the speed of their offense and ultimately our struggles to defend them early dug us holes in each set we failed to overcome,” said Lady Techster head coach Amber McCray. “I was pleased, however, with our ability to bounce back and get the win against a scrappy Nicholls team who we knew would come into the match with a ton of fire.”
“Once we really settled in and controlled our first contact, we were able to generate the balanced offense we struggled to find earlier in the day. I believe the strong play of our middle blockers, both offensively and defensively, really proved to be the difference for us down the stretch and is something we will seek to build on for the future,” McCray continued.
Match #1: South Alabama 3, LA Tech 0
South Alabama controlled the match from start to finish to earn a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-20) win over Louisiana Tech in both teams’ tournament opener.
The Jaguars took the first set of the day after jumping out to an 18-11 lead and holding off a late Techster rally. Adams and Marie-Helene Verlinden played key roles in pulling Tech within three at 18-15 after a kill and service ace. Morgan Currie’s serving kept Tech in the set late, but South Alabama pulled away to earn the 25-21 win.
Despite appearing to have stolen some of the momentum at the end of the first set, the Techsters struggled throughout the second frame. As a team, Tech made 9 attacking errors and hit -.086 in the second set as the Jaguars grabbed a 25-18 victory.
The third set was more of the same with South Alabama jumping out to an early lead and holding off a late Techster run. After building their lead throughout the set, the Jaguars held a 24-15 advantage late in the frame. Tech made a five-point run that included two blocks from Laura Ehieze, but couldn’t overcome the formidable deficit and fell 25-20.
Carter Mirich led the Lady Techsters with a .211 hitting percentage and 7 kills. Abigail Hildenbrand and Mia Prostran combined for 21 assists. Morgan Currie led the team with 14 digs.
Match #2: LA Tech 3, Nicholls 1
Tech’s slow start to the day continued into its match with Nicholls, but the Techsters regained their form and emerged with a win after three impressive sets.
One week after setting a new season-high with 11 blocks against the Colonels, Tech blocked 13 Nicholls attacks on Friday. Adams led the way with seven, and Emily Boylan contributed six more.
After dropping the first match of the day, the Techsters struggled early against Nicholls. The Colonels hit .325 en route to their first set win, taking an early 17-11 lead in the set and hanging on for the 25-21 win.
Tech bounced back in the second set, going on a nine point run early in the frame and emerging with a 25-14 win. Verlidnen and Madeline Davis provided two kills each during the run and both hit better than .400 in the set. The duo also combined for a block midway through Tech’s early run.
The Techsters continued their strong play into the third set, emerging with another commanding win. Leading 12-10 midway through the frame, Tech took control of the set with an 8-2 run. Both Davis and Jordyn Carswell contributed two kills in the run, which resulted in a 20-12 lead for the Techsters. From there, the team coasted to a 25-16 win.
The fourth and final set of the day was more of the same for Tech, which jumped out to a 20-9 lead that proved to be more than enough to earn a win. Davis and Boylan posted three kills each in the frame.
Davis led the Techsters with a .343 hitting percentage and 15 kills. Currie and Carswell were Tech’s best contributors on the back line with 18 and 15 digs, respectively.
The Lady Techsters round out their time at the South Alabama Invitational by taking on Bethune-Cookman on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Follow the Lady Techsters (@LATechVB) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with the team throughout the 2019 season.
Article sourced from provided press release. Photo courtesy of DJ Shafer