Kentucky State University volleyball dropped its first two matches of the day but notched a win in the finale of the first day of the SIAC Cluster at Central State University on Friday.
Tuskegee University (2-16) and Spring Hill College (13-2) overcame the Thorobrettes (11-7) in two highly contested matchups, while KSU handled its business against LeMoyne Owen College (11-7) after a long day of play.
The second and final day of the cluster will feature KSU facing off with Miles College and Lane College on Saturday at 11 am ET and 3 pm ET.
TU 3 KSU 2
KSU handled its business in the first set, taking down the Golden Tigers 25-13 for an early lead. But, TU came out swinging in the next two sets pushing KSU to the limit and scraping by with a 25-21 win in the second set, followed by a 25-22 win in the third.
Much like the first set, KSU propelled past TU with a 6-0 run after a 7-7 tie, and later a 7-0 stretch to close out the set for a 25-13 win forcing a fifth and final frame.
The Thorobrettes led by as much as three, late in the set at 13-10, but three straight attacking error cost KSU the set and the match with a final of 16-14.
Junior middle blocker Landri Greathouse led KSU in kills with 12. She also recorded four blocks and four aces in the process.
Freshman outside hitter Makayla Martin came close to another double-double with a team-high 12 digs and nine kills.
SHC 3 KSU 1
The Badgers were the only squad in the SIAC to hold two match victories over Thorobrettes in 2016. Leading to what could have been the match of the day, and the match with the most attention going into it, as KSU and SHC battled back and forth over four sets of plays.
The Badgers barely got by the defending SIAC tournament champions with a 28-26 first set victory. KSU returned the favor in the second frame with a narrow two-point win of 25-23.
KSU jumped out to an early lead of 9-6, but SHC chipped away at the lead, ending the set on a 6-1 run, after a 19-19 tie to take the 2-1 match advantage. The Badgers rode the momentum from the third set win to close out KSU, 25-15 for the match win.
Martin recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs in the loss.
Sophomore setter Hannah Smyers picked up her 12th match of the season with 20 or more assists with a team-high 23. Freshman setter Amanda Moore followed Smyer’s lead, providing relief with a season-high 17 assists of her own.
Freshman outside hitter Robin Poole led all the Thorobrettes in kills with 13, giving her 10 matches on the season with double-digit kills.
Defensively, freshman libero Gabriella Garcia provided a team-high 13 digs.
KSU 3 LOC 1
Except for a second set loss, KSU controlled the pace of play against the Lady Magicians, taking the first, second, and fourth sets of five or more points.
Smyers shined for her second double-double of the year with a career-high 40 assists and 11 digs. She finished one kill short with nine, for her first career triple-double.
Like she did in the first set of the day, Greathouse paved the way for the Thorobrettes with a game-high 13 kills and three blocks.
Freshman middle blocker Jaylnn Roberts picked up a career-high as well, with 12 kills, her first match of double-digit kills on the season.
by Eric Mathews