Northwestern State volley capped off another successful tournament weekend with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-23) win versus Tennessee State.
The Lady Demons were back on the court early following a long and intense fourth set loss to South Alabama. It took a few points for NSU to find its flow in the match, falling behind 17-9.
“Last night was a rollercoaster,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “So it’s not a surprise that it took a little while to get going with an early match today. I have to give Tennessee St credit, they had a back and forth match themselves but came out with a lot of fight to begin the match.
“We cleaned some things up and earned a few points, which finally allowed us to go on a roll in the first set. That was a difficult way to win but we keep playing well enough to give ourselves those chances.”
A string of three straight kills from Hannah Brister, along with some Tiger attack errors, put the Lady Demons right back into it, down 19-18. NSU ended the first set with a 16-5 run, taking the wind from the sails of the Tigers and carried that momentum through the rest of the match.
A pair of 4-0 runs early in the second set put NSU up 11-4. The Tigers only got as close as three points the rest of the set as the Lady Demons continued to apply pressure offensively, and maintain a high-level defense.
The Lady Demons benefited from 15 attack errors by TSU through the first two sets, and held them to hitting percentages of .159 and .133 to start the match.
In the third, TSU cut their attack errors down to four, but NSU had found their stride and continued to push.
With a slight lead of 10-9, the Lady Demons went on a run that would give them a firm grip on the frame. An ace from Alexis Warren, and kills from Skylar Besch and Brister pushed the NSU lead to 16-9.
TSU made a pair of 3-0 runs late in the match, but the deficit was too great to overcome as Warren slammed the door on the comeback with the match-winning kill.
Warren led all players with 14 kills, adding seven digs to her line. Brister extended her streak reaching double-digit kills to 16 dating back to last season. Megan Lohmiller led the team with 11 digs, and Besch with 16 assists.
“It was another great weekend in my opinion,” Kiracofe said. “Like I’ve been saying, we keep giving ourselves great opportunities to win against good teams no matter what situation we find ourselves in. Being 6-1 would feel really good right now, but you can’t define a value on everything you take away from a fourth set like that against USA. So we’re feeling good with where we’re at.”
NSU plays its first home match of the season Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Grambling State.
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